Jules Remy
(1826 -1893)
Journey to Great Salt Lake City

(London: W. Jeffs, 1861 - English trans.)

Vol. I:  Intro.  |  Book 1  |  Book 2

  • Vol. 1: Contents

  • Bk. 1 Ch. 1  Sacramento to Carson Valley
  • Bk. 1 Ch. 2  Carson Valley to Haws's Ranch
  • Bk. 1 Ch. 3  Haws's Ranch to New Jerusalem
  • Bk. 1 Ch. 4  The New Jerusalem

  • Bk. 2 Ch. 1  Life of the Prophet up to 1830
  • Bk. 2 Ch. 2  The Mormon Church Until 1839
  • Bk. 2 Ch. 3  Nauvoo, From 1839 to 1844
  • Bk. 2 Ch. 4  From Brigham Young to 1851

  • Go to:  Volume Two of this Set


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    MR. BRENCHLEY and myself quitted San Francisco the 18th of July, 1855, to complete at Sacramento our preparations for the expedition we had resolved to make into the Mormon territory. Instead of the two days we had originally considered sufficient for that purpose, we lost ten from the extreme difficulty of obtaining the beasts of burden we required for the transport of our provisions, ammunition, instruments, and implements necessary for the researches we had in view.


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    It may not perhaps be unnecessary to state, that the price of mules, of horses, and many articles, though less than at the commencement of the rush to California, was so great that, although we had provided a liberal fund to meet expenses, it was exhausted long before we had purchased many things indispensible for our expedition; * so that we were compelled to have recourse to the kindness of two bankers of San Francisco, M. Tourchard and M. Ritter, who hastened, with a generosity we shall never forget, to advance us considerable sums.

    From the outset we had resolved to take no servants, the experience of our former expeditions having shown them to be useless, cumbersome, and even occasionally a dangerous luxery. However, a young native of Havre, named George, the luckless captain of a merchant vessel which foundered in the Pacific, begged of us to take him into our service, merely asking his food in return for his services, Moved by his entreaties and his miserable condition, reflecting moreover that a man of education and accustomed to fatigue would not be the same trouble as a hired servant, we yielded, and consented to engage him to look after our animals and to cook. This fresh arrangement delayed us two days longer, for the purpose of procuring another saddle-mule.

    * To give an idea of our expenses, under the circumstances in which California and particularly Utah were then situated, it will sufice to state that the five months' journey to Utah and back cost us more than £1,600.


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    We did not leave Sacramento till the 30th of July, at noon. The season was too far advanced to undertake such a journey with the intention of returning before the winter, but, misinformed by some of the inhabitants, we calculated that we should have sufficient time to get back to California by the beginning of October. The result will show how far we were out of our reckoning

    To avoid attracting the attention of evil-doers, we had adopted a costume suited to make us pass for miners seeking new placers. Broad-brimmed felt hats, flannel shirts, buck-skin trousrs, and American boots formed our accoutrements. No one suspected the nature of our enterprise, and had it not been for our numerous pack-mules, we should certainly have passed for a very poor lot.

    We knew that the Indians, full of resentment against the Americans, had declared war against the pale-faces. Our friends in San Francisco had even sought to dissuade us from undertaking the journey, making the most sinister predictions, and supporting them by numerous facts. Although we did not blind ourselves to the dangers we should have to encounter, we persisted in our project, not however without providing ourselves with the means of defence. We took with us two excellent double-barrelled guns by Lepage, a double-barrelled rifle, and five six-shot revolvers. Thus armed we felt ourselves in a condition to face an enemy far superior in number. Moreover we relied upon that lucky star which had so often befriended both Mr. Brenchley


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    and myself during five years' previous travel. Mr. Brenchley moreover had acquired great experience of Indian countries in the course of the successful journey he had made in 1850 from the banks of the Mississippi to Oregon. * We expected to benefit largely by that experience, and we relied more upon that even than upon our weapons. Thus we started, if not without anxiety, at least without fear, and with reasonably well founded prospects of success.

    On quitting Sacramento we followed a broad good road, covered however with a layer of dust six inches in depth, which the hoofs of our mules drove up in thick clouds most painful to our eyes. The American river ran on our left. In the vast plain which extends to the foot of the Sierra Nevada, all was arid and covered with a coating of fine sand. We perceived here and there only a few parched-up plants, the Centaurea solstitialis, an Erigeron, two stunted composites with yellow flowers, a hispid boragewort, another smooth one, a clovewort deprived of its leaves, a sprufewort covered with stiff whitish hair, and a great Rumex.

    We had barely gone a couple of leagues before several of our mules began to give us incessant trouble. One started from the rank and galloped across the plain, compelling us to take a long run to recover it. Another luxuriously rolled over in the dust without the slightest respect for its cargo. A third broke down under its burden, and seemed unable

    * See Note I. at the end of the work.


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    to recover its feet. This mule, the oldest of the lot, served us several times in the same manner. To get her on her feet again we had to lift her up by the head and tail at the same time. These accidents, common enough at the outset of a journey, not only fatigued us, but greatly hindered our march, in having to repair broken harness, and replacing our saddle-packs. Yet these frequent incidents did not prevent our taking note of the aspect of the country we were traversing. The scattered oaks appeared like large apple-trees. Presently we came to a more wooded country. The trees were covered with long Usnea and with a broad-leaved Viscum. The road became less dusty as we approached the banks of the river, which we followed as far as American Fork, where we arrived at six P. M. There our old mule came down once more, and this time there was no getting her up; she was evidently over-weighted, and we resolved to procure another to divide the burden with her.

    Only those who have made expeditions such as ours will understand how annoyed, not to say discouraged, we were with these difficulties, and how the unpleasant warnings which had accompanied our departure began to present themselves to our minds. Fortunately an affectionate letter we had received but had not time to read in the morning cheered us up. It was a letter from Captain Souville, one of the best men, who, as he passed through San Francisco with Admiral Fourichon, on their return from the distant campaign of Petropolowski, sent us his good


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    wishes and the Admiral's also. This letter was all the more welcome, since it was the first time we had met with any one favourable to our expedition. At nine the same night Mr. Brenchley set off in good heart for Sacramento to buy a mule, and with the intention to rejoin me as soon as possible. We had halted at an inn of very good appearance. The landlord was absent, and his daughter, a charming girl of eighteen, did the honours of the house very agreeably. The man who kept the bar bore the title of "doctor," a title which in the United States may belong to a retail dealer as well as to a medical practitioneer. In the evening our hostess sang to us, accompanying herself on the pianoforte. I began to fancy myself in well-bred company, and the illusion would have been lasting had I not witnessed the next morning, at the table-d'hote breakfast, a scene worth relating here as a specimen of American manners.

    A Yankee guest, in taking his seat at table, had deposited his hat on the dining-room floor. Our hostess of the beautiful eyes with a kick sent the hat flying to the other end of the room; whereupon the proprietor of the innocent tile, in appearance a gentleman, replied to the politeness of the frolicsome young lady by kicking her. The game seemed over, after the combatants were seated side by side at table. But the Yankee gentleman's vengeance was not so easily satisfied; it was now his turn to assume the aggressive. Seizing a piece of fruit pie, he threw it on her plate of


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    roast beef, when with her own fair hand she hurled it back upon the plate of the enemy. The harmless projectile, to the great amazement of the company, splashed floods of gravy over the trousers of the gallant knight, while the whole table, not excepting the victim, were in roars of laughter at these refined jokes.

    To complete the picture of manners, I may be allowed to add, that at the same table a sumptuously dressed man was making a handkerchief of his fingers: either he had forgotten to put one in his pocket, or from excess of cleanliness thought it to elegant an article of luxury for so vile a service. In presence of such facts, one is sometimes tempted to say of the Americans (so estimable in other respects) what Napoleon said of the Emperor Alexander, "Scratch a Russian and you'll find a Tartar."

    Awaiting the return of Mr. Brenchley, I wandered in the woods and by the banks of the river, where a simple plant, a poppy, delighted me more than all the rest of the flowers, for it reminded me of home, and because I had not seen one for six years. The Yedra (Rhus Toxicodendron) abounds in these districts as throughout Upper California. Miners dread this shrub like the plague, from the painful inflammation it causes in certain parts of the body. This property of the Yedra does not appear to affect every one. I have frequently crushed the leaves in my hands without the slightest inconvenience. I have also seen cows repeatedly feeding on the young shoots. A small species of Eriogonum.


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    with the stem and leaves apparently parched up, was only just bursting into flower, A large Usnea used in making mattresses in the United States, covered the branches of the trees, and especially those of the oaks and the alders, with its long threads.

    At the inn we were taken for Hawaiians who had made a little money in mining and had invested their profits in the purchase of mules and provisions to go and try their luck in some undiscovered placer. This supposition appears to have been thus founded. Mr. Brenchley and myself had been overheard speaking in the Hawaiian tongue, and its strange sounds had excited so much curiosity that we had been asked in what language we were speaking. When they were told it was that of the Sandwich Islands, they took it for our mother tongue, especially as my comrad and I made use of it habitually. We took care not to repudiate the nationality, which was precisely what we wanted, inasmuch as it implied in us no other riches than our animals.

    Singularly enough, a fellow-countryman of mine shared the delusion. About dusk a Frenchman of the name of Vaillant arrived at the inn. He was a sort of misanthropist, not without a certain degree of information, who, believing and declaring himself to be the victim of the jealousy of his fellow-creatures, had carried out to the letter the project assigned to Alceste by Moliere, and had fled to the desert to evade the perversity of man.


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    To believe his story, he had been the Governor of the Elysee National, Governor of the Society Islands, and entrusted by the Minister of the Interior with a mission to New Zealand. He had besides invented an inflammable projectile, by which he couls have reduced Sabastopol in a few hours. Moreover he pretended to the honour of the gold-discoveries in Australia. Whatever the nature of these and other claims, M. Vaillant was unsuccessful in Californian mining; but he led the life of a philosopher, and its burden was relieved by a conscious superiority over his neighbours in the placer. We passed some amusing hours together, he in recounting his illusions, I in listening, and laughing a little, I must confess, at his mistaking me for an Hawaiian brought up in France.

    Mr. Brenchley rejoined me on the 1st of August, at three in the morning, with the new mule he had bought. We occupied ourselves in making ready for a start, and at nine we were off once more, in the best of tempers. It was the same dusty road and the same arid plain, but vegetation was less rare than nearer Sacramento. The plain was covered with a pale rose-coloured Eriogonum, and with another species of the same genus, only larger, and in appearance like a Statice, about five or six feet in height. The open woods through which we passed at intervals, reminded us of the orchards at home, and sometimes of our English parks. These woods consisted principally of oak. Nimble squirrels full of frolic were taking their pastime upon the


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    trunks of the trees and frequently curvetted across our path with tails turned trumpetwise.

    Beyond Monte Christo, a tavern about nine miles from our starting-point, are mines now almost deserted. They were the first we had fallen in with on our road. These mines consist of excavations in the bed of a little rivulet. Enormous heaps of earth are thrown up, and undergo a washing to extract the particles of gold which they contain.

    As soon as you leave these mines the aspect of the country changes. The ground becomes more undulating, and the landscape more varried and picturesque. Different species of conifers are met with; on one of the large resinous species a pretty little Viscum grows, which from a distance might be taken for the male blossom of the tree.

    We were soon at Texas-Hill, a post farm, located in the midst of the woods, and near which M. Vaillant resided.

    We had intended to give our animals two hours' rest, and then to pursue our journey till evening; but when my countryman was informed of our arrival, he hastened to invite us to spend the day with him, for his misanthropy was evidently subject to sociable fits. We could not resist his pressing solicitations, and those of M. Marius and M. Armand, two other Frenchmen who resided with him. Leaving our animals and baggage in charge of the post-master, we started on foot for Vaillantville, a small hut about a mile from our halting-place. M. Marius and his wife had resided in Tahiti seven years before, and were delighted to


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    fraternize with Oceanians who knew that beautiful island and spoke the language. We were received with an ovation, and while the banquet was getting ready, we went to visit M. Vaillant's mine. The shade and humid soil through which our road lay, had preserved many plants in flower. Among others, beautiful sweet-scented Labiates, some Eschscholyzia, a supurb pink-flowered gentian, some Mimulus, and other Linariads.

    Having reached the auriferous ground which M. Vaillant proposed to work as soon as had capital enough, we observed deposits of shingle to a great depth, and spread over a considerable space, The surface of these alluvial strata, produced by the American river, which has frequently shifted its bed, has already been turned up, but not a hubdredth part of the gold-dust extracted. It is now proved beyond a doubt, that gold exists in all the alluvial deposits of California. This fact is easily explained. Gold in its normal stratum is found in the quartz rock which abounds in the Sierra Nevada mountains. These rocks, displaced, swept away, and worn by the constant action of water, break and split into fragments, which, as they crumble, loosen and set free their veins of gold. Hence the golden spangles in the river-beds. Hence also the double method of collecting gold, either from the alluvial deposits or from the quartz rocks, which must be crushed by powerful machinery. It is obvious enough, from the way the gold lies, that future adventurers will apply themselves to the quartz. The alluvial


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    deposits will be abandoned, as requiring too much labour, and mills will be erected for crushing the auriferous rock.

    As we were walking over the shingle, we came upon a small Indian encampment, composed of huts formed of willow branches stuck into the ground, and affording imperfect shelter from the rays of the sun. These Indians, who belong to the tribe called Diggers by the Californians, were busy cooking. They are a silent race, the women especially, who besides are hideous and far from clean. The food they were preparing consisted of elderberries, and of very small flat fish salted and dried. We saw an infant so thoroughly swaddled in turf that it could stir neither hand nor foot. One of these savages spoke a little English. He showed us, with a sort of pride, a bottle of villainous brandy, a liquor which all the savages are too eager for, to admit of their being easily civilized. The arrows of these Indians are adorned with feathers and tipped with a sharp-edged flint. They use these weapons to kill the hares which abound in the neighbourhood. The Diggers have a large slit in their ears, through which they pass a stick decorated with porcelain beads or crockery of all colours. This ornament gives a singular expression to the countenance. Among the aliments of these savages I observed a paste of meal, seeds of conifers, and different sorts of not over-relishing fruits.

    We did not leave the mine-country without washing a few pans of earth, from which we obtained a small quantity of gold-dust.


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    At nightfall we returned to Vaillantville, to partake of the feast prepared for us. Some French miners and a Portugese neighbour spent the evening with us, and we kept it up till hard on midnight, with a round of toasts, and a complete repertory of the songs of Beranger, which M. Armand, an ex-medical student, appeared to have by heart.

    Early next morning we had taken leave of our kind hosts, and our mules were already loaded, when M. Vaillant came to inform us that our presence had attracted visitors, and even ladies, from ten miles round, and that we should be cruel indeed to refuse the fete to which we were invited that day. We consented to accept the breakfast only, and we left our animals still loaded, and ready to be off immediately after. But the repast was so gay, the company so charming, that we were induced to devote the rest of the day to pleasure, lulling our consciences with the excuse that a little rest and good pasturage would do no harm to our animals at the outset of our long pilgrimage. An American fiddle scraped away at a lot of superannuated polkas, and one and all danced and sang. We could only steal a moment's respite to look after our animals, and Mr. Brenchley seized the opportunity to get a cartload of green cats at a mile fiom the house, and brought it back in triumph. Who will say after this that we were not first-rate miners? Dancing began again, New visitors dropped in, Americans, Swiss, and French. One of them, a true-born Parisian, gravely informed us that he was a descendant of La Valliere;


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    that he had a son, an infant prodigy; and that he was accumulating money marvellusly at the mines. Four French ladies, very respectable for Californians, exerted all their charms to make the two Hawaiians forget that one does not reach the Salt Lake the sooner for dancing at the mines. They were for a while successful, and it was not before two in the morning that the silence of the fiddle warned us to retire. M. Vaillant, who slept at my side, had, since our acquaintance, taken such a fancy to our islands, that he talked of making the Hawaiian government a present of his fulminating projectile, which would, on his showing, enable that country to defend itself against an enemy ten times as strong.

    The morning of the 3d of August caught us suffering from the fatigues of the last night's revels. We thought of making an early start, but there was so much leave-taking that breakfast-time came and we were not yet ready. We had formed many friendships in the country, and instead of the indifference we had a right to expect, we had met with hearty welcomes which we shall not easily forget.

    At length, at half past three, we were ready to take the saddle, not without casting many a lingering, saddened look at that humble hut which we could not hope to see again, but which we did see once more the following spring, when we were happy to be able to tell our amiable fellow-countrymen how they had mistaken our country

    M. Vaillant accompanied us as far as the road; and when


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    we parted, his eyes filled with tears. He thought, as we did, that it was sad to separate from congenial souls without a hope of ever meeting more. This man, whom, to all appearance, political opinions, and perhaps private embarrassments, had driven from France, bore, under an assumed misanthropy, a sterling heart that was sufficient to make more than amends for all his whims and oddities.

    Our course lay over hills thick with dust. The same species of Eriogonum as those we had already met with, covered considerable tracts. We passed through some miry marsh land before we reached Mormon Island, a tolerably populous village, situated in the midst of a deep basin, with a fine iron bridge thrown across the valley from hill to hill. The place owes its name to a Mormon colony which established itself there after the discovery of a gold-mine. We made but a brief halt here, to give our animals the chance of refreshing their dusty mouths at the village wells. The darkness of night had overtaken us when we set out for Green Valley, where we arrived at nine o'clock, having made a march of fourteen miles.

    Trusting to appearances, we put up at a hotel in Green Valley, where the servants left us to do their work, without even troubling themselves to show us the stables, so absorbed were they by the description that one of them was giving of an entertainment coming off next day. We were reduced to fastening our mules round a har-rick. They served us up a dinner too destesable to touch. Our bedroom


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    was a loft, with eight beds, all too narrow and too short, making us regret we had not camped out beneath the stars. There are but two ways of sleeping well, the one in a good clean bed, the other on the greensward. That evening deserved to be marked with a black stone. George confessed to me that he had two days before lost a pipe I had lent him, a Lama-wood pipe, made for me at Hawaii, a pipe endeared by a thousand recollections, a pipe that a king and a queen had carried to their august lips. What annoyed me most in the loss of this relic was, that George had not told me as soon as he missed it, as though he had determined to deprive me of all chance of its recovery. But no traveller is inconsolable, and is soon diverted from dwelling on these small mishaps.

    The 4th of August we were on the road by half-past six -- the same choking dust everywhere as before. The ground was undulating, and we climbed a few small hills. In the surrounding valley and mountains were pyramidal pines, lending an Alpine aspect to the landscape. The rivulets, fringed with chestnut-trees, flowed in a yellow stream which announced the miners were at work, Towards midday the heat became stifling. A succession of small valleys led to Placerville, where we arrived at one.

    Placerville is a tolerably important and very populous town, in the depths of a valley commanded by pine-crested eminences. The streets are winding, irregular, and cut up here and there by the excavations of the miners. This


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    place is more commonly known among the inhabitants by the name of Hangtown, in commemoration of two Frenchmen * who were hanged there for their crimes. In the principal street a brish trade is carried on. The population may be estimated at 3000. There is no public building worth notice, but there are many good private houses constructed of brick and stone. There is a daily American paper published here: most of the drinking-stores are kept by Frenchmen.

    All our cattle suffering from lampass, we resolved to pass the rest of the day at Placerville to lance them, an operation we always preferred to cautery.

    Next morning we were up betimes, but there was no starting before half-past ten. The heat was intense. An Irishman of the name of Murdoch, a farmer in the neighbourhood of Marysville, joined us as we rode along. He informed us that he was going to meet his brother, who was then making his way across the plains with a drove of cattle from the States. Murdoch, fearing he would run short of flour before he got to California, was taking him six horseloads. So we jogged on together. We began to climb the first steeps of the Sierra Nevada.

    We traversed vast forests, for the most part of pine, fir, and oak. I measured a fir-tree on the roadside twenty-six feet in circumference. At every step we were struck with admiration of the fine tall trees with their straight columnar

    * See Note II, at the end of the work.


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    trunks. A Rubus, with its delicately carved leaves resembling those of the tansy, emitting a strong odour of musk, made a dense little forest of their own under the dome of the lofty trees. Another species of Rubus, with large angular leaves, proudly spread around its broad rose-tinted corollas. Among the various Onagrads which stocked both sides of the road, the most plentiful was a slender Gayophytum, resembling its namesake of Chili. Some Monotropa and small common Orchids pressed through the carpet of dead leaves that covered the earth. The Symphoricarpus here and there forms little thickets; and the blue Polygala is also to be met with.

    Pursuing our way under these shady forests, surrounded by vegetation little varied but luxuriant, at six in the evening we arrived at the fork of the Carson Valley road. A miserable tavern, well supplied with water, brought us to a halt; but the filth of the hovel, and the unperposing appearance of the host, induced us to do our own cooking and to sleep on the roadside, with our arms by us.

    On the morrow we rose at four o'clock. Although the thermometer stood at 14 degrees centigrade, we were nearly benumbed with cold; the change from the equable heat of the tropics was but too keenly sensible. It is a singular fact, that the habit of living in an almost even temperature makes you feel the cold even when the thermometer has fallen but a few degrees. At night, on the river Guayas, we were literally shivering at 18 degrees centigrade, accustomed


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    as we were to a constant heat of 28 degrees day and night. While our cattle were taking a feed of grass, I examined the vegetation of the neighbourhood, and gathered an Arum, an orchid, and a Polygonatum.

    At a quarter past eight we were off. Tired of leading our mules in a file, we left them at liberty, in the hope that they would follow our horses. At first they gave us some trouble, rushing into the underwood and down a ravine in search of water; presently, however, they became more quiet, and we had them perfectly at command. At half-past nine we reached the bottom of a deep and narrow alpine valley, traversed by the American river, which, at half-past nine, we crossed over on a wooden bridge. These limpid murmuring waters, hemmed in by heaps of rocks, and mirroring the trees and climbing plants, made us regret we had not pushed on the night before as far as the cabin of the toll-taker of the bridge. This man, a carpenter and a photographic artist, seemed to enjoy true happiness in that secluded spot, where he lived with his young and amiable wife. A creeper penetrated into the house through the crevices of the plank walls, and covered the room with its fresh and cheerful verdure. The infant child of this happy pair hid its little face in its mother's bosom in terror at our beards. There was something so touching in the contemplation of this family group in such a spot, that we could hardly tear ourselves away. Nature, by a fine setting, lends a potent charm to a moral picture. Hence is it, that the


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    expression of a human face which interests us is all the more engaging when brought into relief by these two circumstances, isolation and the beauty of the surrounding scenery.

    The heat became overpowering as we climbed the steep path on which a blue-flowered lupin grew in abundance. In the afternoon, in the thick of the forest, we crossed a small marsh, which had on us the effect of an oasis. Veratum, Rudbeckia, and Ranunculus peered above the sward of this swampy meadow. A little further on, under the lofty firs, we came upon a streamlet bursting from a rock, and there we pitched our camp. Our meal of ham and rice was soon cooked over a splendid fire. Stretched at our ease on a carpet of moss, and rather fatigued, these overhanging woods gave us the feeling of being under the roof of a sumptuous palace. Around us were some Monotropa, Pyrola, Asarum, Paris, orange-tinted lilies, and Ribes of different species. At nightfall we made our beds at the foot of some firs. Our cattle, tethered along the brink of the stream, were eagerly browsing away the hours of rest.

    We were afoot at four A. M. It took us till nine to load our mules. All day we were up and down pretty steep ascents and declivities. Water was not as scarce as on the previous days. Every now and then we met with small streams, in which we were glad enough to quench our thirst. The oak and pine forest was now often diversified


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    with the alder and the popular. From time to time we came to glades of rich grass, bright with flowers, and, among others, with a yellow-petaled Pinguicula. We came across a sinister-looking group of travellers, who seemed willing enough to give us a wide berth. Who knows but that in our strange costume we looked suspicious enough to them? Our road soon became so steep that our pack-mules suffered much. Their loads shifted on their backs as they struggled up the steep inclines, and we had not only to readjust the packs, but often to replace them when the animals stumbled and fell. Without having experienced it, no one can form an idea of the labor and trouble of setting to rights a pack that has slipped underneath the belly of the animal or has even canted to one side. Much time is lost, and much strength expended, to get things once more into anything like order, and you may consider yourself lucky if nothing is damaged, and the backs of the mules escape without sores. We soon discovered, at a distance which it was next to impossible to calculate, the snow-capped summits of the Sierra Nevada.

    We passed close to a hut, the suspicious-looking occupants whereof told us that their usual calling was that of bear-hunters. One almost instinctively felt as if an atmosphere of crime were overhanging that gloomy lair, where not the slighest evidence of a hunter's life was to be seen. An immense granite rock, more than a thousand feet in height, rose on the opposite side of a small river, the course


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    of which we followed. A humble roof, then unoccupied, was situated in the edge of the stream. The absent owner had surrounded it with a few flowers, and had sent adrift upon the water a lilliputian frigate and two miniture canoes, which he had evidently cut, with his own hands, out of the wood of the forest. He was, no doubt, a sailor who had been tempted from his ship by the yellow locks of the Siren -- Gold.

    We climbed some dangerous granite rocks, affording but a slippery footing to our beasts. An immense precipice, with a river at the bottom, yawned beside us to our right, with the whole line of our track across the mountain. A few years hence, when American enterprise has cut a road through these rocky steeps, the traveller will hardly imagine the dangers and fatigues he is spared. Emerging without an accident from this fearful pass, our way lay over a prairie, in which we found an emigrant family encamped.

    At half-past five we halted on the banks of a little river, in which we bathed in spite of the coldness of the stream. We were instantly seized by greedy mosquitoes, which savagely phlebotomized us as we sat and wrote our diaries. Even the night failed to rid us of these intolerable companions, and the fire we kept blazing in self-defence scarcely checked the fury of their attacks. George, to whom this life of labour and endurance was new, fairly went off to sleep on the grass without cleaning his plates and dishes. Happy fellow! We could not close our eyes, but summoned


                ROUTE  FROM  SACRAMENTO  TO  CARSON  VALLEY.             25

    hopes and recollections to our aid to beguile the lagging hours.

    On the 8th of August, at 4 A. M. the therometer stood at one degree below zero on the banks of the stream, and at six, in the woods, it was only three degrees higher. Frost lay glistening upon the grass as far as the eye could reach. This severe temperature had prevented our taking an instant's sleep under the solitary woolen coverlet which constituted our bed, and our feet were almost frozen. As we could not collect our scattered cattle before seven, I had time to search for plants. Excepting the genus Eriogonum and a very few others, all I gathered belonged to the genera indigenous to the north of Europe, which is easily accounted for by the altitude of the region we were in. There were Populus, Salix, Corylus, Alnus, Ribes, Rubus, Symphytum, Potentilla, Angelica, Heracleum, Epilobium, Viola, Aconitum, Lilium, Polygondatum, Polygonum, Ranunculus, Pinguicula, Linariads, Hypericum, Rumux, etc. In the river were Fontinalis, Jungermannia, Marchantia, and Ranunculus aquatilis.

    At half past seven we were off. The country was at first rather flat, and there was no road. Enormous trunks of firs half-burnt strewed the ground in all directions, and hindered our march, while the pointed out the track of colonists on their way to Carson Valley. Hundreds of squirrels, sprightly and graceful in all their movements, skipped across our path and over the trubks of the fallen


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    trees. Occasionally we came upon a broken waggon, bearing the painful witness to the efforts of emigrants to carry their Penates to the mines. The snowy summits of the Sierra Nevada rose before us within easy distance. The Epilobium spicatum darted up its beautiful rosy blossoms all along the borders of the brooks. Huge blocks of granite rose at every step, and we were treading earth in which particles of mica shone like gold. We marched onwards till we had reached the highest point we had to scale in the Sierra, at an absolute elevation of about 9500 feet. To our left, at a considerable distance, we caught sight of the loftiest peak of the chain. Our view over the mountains and the valleys was of vast extent, and we gazed with delight down into the richly wooded depths; blocks of granite, of schist, and of quartz were scattered on all sides.

    From this high point we descended a rocky declivity more than one thousand feet deep vertically. The incline was so abrupt, and the stones so loose that we were obliged to effect the descent on foot. A thick bushy Arbutus was springing out of the midst of the rocks, and a pretty little Eriogonum, with flowers of a golden hue, covered the rocks over which we had to slide. Our cattle suffered greatly in this abrupt descent; several had their heels cut through by the stones, and their feet bleeding. Our pack-mules, drenched with sweat and wasted with fatigue, had their loads slipping round their necks, and it was impossible to find a spot where we could stop


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    for an instant to tighten their girths. At length, however, without any severe mishap, we got to the foot of the descent, and found ourselves in a level plain that formed the bottom of the valley. A rivulet fringed with populars and willows, freshened with its winding waters the green turf of this picturesque basin. A wood cabin, of rather elegant construction and in a lovely situation, struck us by its deserted air, which contrasted strangely with its elegance. We preceived indeed on the adjoining land a few farming implements, and the remnants of waggons, but not a living soul, and all the doors and windows were wide open. We entered. Stains of blood were visible on the floor and upon a table. The furniture was in disorder, and a few kitchen utensils only remained. We felt that a crime had been committed on the spot, and remembered hearing on the road of a double assassination in the neighbourhood. This house had been inhabited by two white men, who had been murdered a few days before, but the murderers had left no clue to their discovery behind them. It was only known that these unfortunate men possessed a little saving of about three hundred dollars, and it was presumed that this had been the inducement to the crime. We learned afterwards that the murdered men had lived on the spot about two years only, and that they earned an honest livelihood by breeding cattle and by selling refreshments and forage to the emigrants. The place would have given us excellent shelter for the night, but the stain of


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    murder was on the hearth, and we were glad to lie down under the silent stars, and out of sight of this house of blood...

    It was not yet noon. The charms of this rural spot, and the suffering our cattle had undergone in the descent, determined us to prolong our halt until the morrow. We therefore took up our quarters in a fir wood, where the trees were scattered enough to enable us to see an enemy from afar : for such a place the enemy is every one you meet, animals, Indians, even the white man. Our animals found excellent pasturage in the prairie, and we had all we wanted for firing and shelter from the cold.

    The prairie gave me an abundant crop of flowers peculiar to these mountains. Although we were then in the month of August, it was at this altitude but just beginning of spring. The small quantity of paper I had brought with me soon became insufficient to contain my collection, but I devised means to double my stock, so as to leave nothing behind. From among the most numerous and remarkable plants were the Senecio, Neottia, Viola, Nasturtium, Frangaria, Cirsium, Trifolium, Achillea, Solidago, Gentiana, Artemisia, Aster, Sisyrinchium, Veronica, Castilleja, and pretty spicate Linariads, etc.

    While I was pursuing my researches, Mr. Brenchley was not idle. He went carefully over all our baggage and harness, shifting and mending what was defective or broken. He was too busy even to light his pipe. George alone had


                ROUTE  FROM  SACRAMENTO  TO  CARSON  VALLEY.             29

    an easy time of it; he had fallen asleep before his fire, in the act of cooking dried apples and ham.

    We had several times during the last days two come across foot-prints of bears, and we were well aware that they were plentiful in these parts. Nevertheless I could not help feeling a little uncomfortable when I saw an enormous Bruin drinking on the opposite bank of the stream as I was collecting my plants. I was quite unarmed, and not a little annoyed at the idea of losing such a noble prey. I hurried back to our camp to seize my gun and give the alarm, but by the time I got again to the river the bear had moved off. I hear him still in the thick of the wood, cracking the dead fir-branches as he went. The dense creepers prevented me from pursuing him without exposing myself unreasonably. I followed slowly in its track, and ascertained that it was a she-bear, from the prints of little feet by her side. Prudence bade me draw back, and when Mr. Brenchley came up with is fire-arms, so much time had been lost that were obliged to give up the pursuit of this magnificent prize.

    Just before nightfall five Americans, who had come from Carson Valley, encamped beside us. They had been on the trail of some marauders who had stolen ten horses from them, which they had recovered, but the thieves had got off, thanks to the rough ground. We were rather disposed to think that the three fugitives we had seen when we were breaking up our camp in the morning were the


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    culprits. We lit a large fire and laid ourselves down on the ground, recapitulating the day's adventures.

    The cold at night in this high region was too sharp for sleep. We rose at four to light a fire. While I was chopping up the rotten trunk of a fir-tree, I suddenly felt the bite of a snake in the forehead, which darted out of its hole in the hollow of a tree in which it had lain concealed. I suffered intensely, but the pain subsided as inflammation spread. Luckily it turned out that the snake, though poisonous, was not deadly.

    At six in the morning the thermometer stood at 6 degrees centigrade. The sky was blue and cloudless; but a thin line of vapour was rising from the valley, which presently disappeared. While completing our preparations for departure, three Indians dropped suddenly upon us. We had not heard the slightest sound, and as we were always on the alert, we were not a little surprised. It is, in general, characteristic of the Indians of this part of America, not only to tread noiselessly, but always to speak in an undertone, or by signs. These Indians were clad in skins, coarsely sewn, and carried bows and arrows; one of them was even armed with a clumsy old rifle, which, from its bad state of preservation, promised to be infinitely more dangerous to its owner than to an enemy. They asked us by signs for tobacco, pipes, matches, and powder. They only obtained the two former. The presence of these people just as were on the move caused us some uneasiness. It was so


                ROUTE  FROM  SACRAMENTO  TO  CARSON  VALLEY.             31

    easy for them to steal something without our being aware of it. However, we experienced no greater annoyance than their dissatisfaction at our presents.

    We were on the march by half-past seven. At first we followed the valley, in which, to our surprise, we saw a large Conifer, with small imbricated leaves, and a small fruit like that of the juniper. We next clambered up the spur of the valley through dense woods, in which we remarked some fine Sequoia gigantea, but which were far from attaining the colossal dimensions of those of Murphys. * Here and there little watercourses barred our road. The Inula Helenium appeared through the turf wherever we came to damp and open ground.

    Arrived at the summit, we travelled for some time through a flat in the heart of a forest. The deer fled before us under the tall trees, and vanished out of reach of even a chance shot. On our left was a lake in the bosom of the mountains. From the top of this elevated plateau is to be seen the valley of Carson, - a level plain forming the lowest part of a vast basin. We skirted a fenced enclosure, where we saw a number of dead horses; but we met no one who could explain the use of it. In default of any information on the spot, we conjectured the use of those enclosures from what we had seen in the Sandwich Islands. There it is customary to fence round half an acre, more or less, according to the size of the pen required.

    * See Note III. at the end of the work.


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    The horses, including those in use, which are turned out every night, and the cattle, feed upon the uplands; the latter are driven in about once a fortnight or more, for the purpose of branding them, etc., which can only be done piecemeal, from the difficulty of getting them out of the bush. As to the former, whenever one or more is required, it is necessary to drive in the whole herd, or those that can be found, into one of these pens, when a man with a lasso catches those that are wanted.

    We had then to make a rapid descent to reach the other side of the Sierra Nevada, which terminates at this point in the Carson valley. Some person, either mischievous or mad had set fire to the forest. The huge firs, as each was charred by the fire, toppled over with a crash, and the trunks, as they strewed the ground. Smouldered away, and threw out a stifling smoke. George's mule, which he was leading by the bridle, took fright at the flames, broke her reins, and gave him a long scramble to catch her upon the slopes. Halfway down, the rapidity of the descent became difficult in the extreme. We were obliged to wind down a hillside by a narrow sandy path, beset with a thousand dangers. Every moment the passage was intercepted by blocks of granite: fragments of this rock contained crystals as green as peridote, and appeared as heavy as iron. A small Asplenium peeped out at intervals from the rocks; and its presence was the more notable because ferns had been every where so scarce throughout the journey. Our cattle gave


                ROUTE  FROM  SACRAMENTO  TO  CARSON  VALLEY.             33

    us no little trouble during the descent. If their loads became loose, or slipped, they took fright, and rushed madly off in places full of precipices, where we had all the trouble in the world to get at them. However, we managed it somehow without any very serious accident, and arrived at last in the valley, where along the bottom of a ravine the water trickled softly down, -- gratefully welcomed, you may believe, by our parched throats. We started an antelope close by us, at the moment we were debouching upon the plain of Carson. A species of Ephedra struck our attention at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, which we had just left behind us.

    We discovered farms and hamlets in the plain. The hay in a cattle-pen by which we passed, proved so attractive to our mules, that it took us quite a quarter of an hour to get them away. We stopped a moment to light a cigar at an American grog-shop, at the door of which were some Indians armed with bows and arrows. Thence we rode along a fine broad level road skirting a marsh filled with rushes and Typha. Allured by the water, our mules rushed forward to drink, but instantly drew back with scalded mouths, for it was a hot spring. At four we pitched our camp upon a level piece of ground close to the establishment formed by the Mormons in this valley. A neighbouring brook supplied us with water for cooking. Our camp was situated about five hundred paces from the principal group of Mormon dwellings, belonging to which was


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    a saw-mill erected at the foot of the hill. We let loose our animals to get what rest and food they might before undertaking the most difficult and the longest part of our journey. We purchased bread and meat from Colonel Reese, the storekeeper of the colony. The bread, at a shilling a pound, was very bad. A Mormon missionary whom we met told us that there exists a road, known only to the settlers, by which you may travel from Carson Valley to the Salt Lake in thirteen days, while it takes thirty-five days by the ordinary route. He also told us that the Mormon population of Utah amounted to fifty thousand, and that of Carson Valley to five hundred. While we were talking about the Salt Lake, and Indian woman, filthily clad, stood eating elderberries at the door, without apparently taking any notice of us. When we had put our notes in order, and made our meal, we stretched ourselves upon the ground beside our baggage, hoping to make amends for many a sleepless night.

    We were not disappointed. We had a capital night's rest, and rose at four, thoroughly refreshed. I set out on foot, in the direction of the hot springs noticed the day before, for the purpose of ascertaining their exact temperature. To reach them I had to go about three miles from our encampment. A vas morass, apparently fed by those springs, covered that portion of the valley. There I found Scirpus lacustris, Typha, Potentilla, Cenopodium, Amarantus, Trifolium, Rumex, Lemna, and Aster. I remarked


                ROUTE  FROM  SACRAMENTO  TO  CARSON  VALLEY.             35

    more particularly a leafless Crucifer, which resembled the asphodel with its spike of delicate blue flowers. I also observed a humming-bird, apparently of the same species as those in the neighbourhood of San Francisco. Great numbers of lizards and snakes were hiding among the reeds. I noted also some Hippuris and Veronica.

    These remarkable springs make their appearance in the plain, issuing from the foot of a hill which forms a spur of the Sierra Nevada chain. They flow in a continuous stream for about a mile, and form several ponds of tolerable depth before dispersing in the morass. They emit steam, and exhale an odour of sulphur. They deposit on the earth around a whitish, saline, soluble incrustation, in appearance like a slight fall of snow. Some Scirpus, Typha, and a large Umbellifer, grow in the water, where it is slightly cooled by the distance from its source. The thermometer where I first dipped it in the water, showed 64 degrees centigrade. In a rather larger pool it indicated 53 degrees at an equal distance from either side. A little further on the heat was at 82 degrees; here it was impossible to keep ones had in the water. At last I came to a boiling spring, the temperature of which was 96 degrees, that is, the temperature of boiling water at that altitude.* What struck me most in these boiling springs, was to see Confervae flourishing luxuriantly in the, as if to demonstrate that there is no condition under which vegetation will not flourish.

    * See Note IV. At the end of the work.


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    At the bottom was to be seen a great quantity of paludal shells, but they appeared to me to be all dead, as it they had succumbed to the superior force of vegetable life, which here and there in the morass exhibited itself under the form of Marsilea, Erigeron, Gnaphalium, and Lepidium.

    On my return to our camp I turned with admiration to the lofty hills which shut in the valley on every side. They are covered with stunted firs, which have a good effect in the distance. The immense plain which forms the valley is cultivated at the sides only, the rest being a vast prairie, with a river running through it bordered with willow-bushes. The ground is full of particles of mica, glittering like golden spangles.

    Colonel Reese, the head of the Mormon colony of Carson Valley, having advised us to add a horse to our caravan, Mr. Brenchley succeeded in purchasing one, which we called Riley, of Indian breed, a very powerful but savage-looking brute. It was intended to serve my companion as a relay, in order to give his mule an occasional rest. This purchase raised the number of our animals to ten. Riley was in some respects matchless, but with all his strength he was not worth the weakest of our mules. In the desert, under the exhausting pressure of long and weary journeys, hunger and thirst, the best horse visibly falls away and breaks down; while the mule keeps up, and holds out against all these hardships. The mule is the true dromedary of the


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    American deserts. Riley however had at least one great merit, and that was to act as a magnet to the others, and to keep them together. When he was tethered, the mules scarcely lift his side, so that we had them always at hand; but if he managed to get loose, the troop followed in his wake. This attraction of the mule to the horse is incontestable, explain it who can. Is it the voice of nature? Is it the homage of villainage to nobility? Is it by virtue of the same laws which make men courtiers?

    Our mules had each a name, to which they soon answered. The mule which Mr. Brenchley usually rode we called Jack. It was black, as tall as a horse, with fine, large, limpid eyes, wonderfully full of expression. You could almost imagine that a tender human soul had transmigrated into him. It was the gentlest and most intelligent of the lot. It often begged for biscuit and rice, and even drank the remains of our tea and coffee. My mule was called Campora; it was light-brown, middle sized, but robust; at a moderate distance it would come to my call. George's mule was christened Jane; it was strong, and free from vice. The other mules were old painstaking Kate, Peke, the proud Djemi, Flora, Dick, and Piula. Djemi was a prodigy of a mule. She was the smallest of the whole, and might have been taken for a gigantic mouse. What with her coat, her round and neatly-moulded shape, her graceful and lively paces, her fine and beautifully-formed legs, she bore, making allowance for size, a striking resemblance


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    to that animal. But if this little pet were the strongest, she was also the most troublesome. She had all the caprices of a true coquette, and would often rid herself of her pack and take a gallop across country on her own account.

    We looked on all these animals as a sort of family. We tended them as lovingly as children. Not that they were always grateful for our care; they often forgot us to run away after their special favourite, the horse.* And yet, for all their pranks and infidelity, our attachment never slackened, but grew stronger every day.

    At half-past eleven, as soon as the formalities of the bargain which made Riley ours were completed, we struck our camp in the presence of some very inoffensive Paiulee Indians, who had assembled to have a look at us, and also a few Americans, who betted openly that the Shoshones would never let us see civilized life again.

    It was under these auguries that we left the last outpost, and struck into the great desert of Utah.

    * Among the Mexicans, a mare is preferred, when the object is to keep together of lead the mules, and a white or grey one is found to answer best. At night, if the mare is tethered, the mules, even when not secured, will never abandon her, but, if she be allowed to roam at large, they would follow her were she to go off to any distance.






    ON leaving Carson Valley we followed a road traversed by various streamlets, and leading to several newly established farms. We soon left the great valley behind, after having descended an incline that led to a plain covered with dry, arid mounds, a true vestibule of the desert. Here and there broken waggons abandoned by the emigrants indicated the roadway, and we met with poles, wheels, and planks in all directions. On all sides of us also were skeletons and hides of oxen, the gloomy relics of poor animals which, exhausted by the desert, had died almost in sight of plenty. The vegetation around us was very meagre and with but


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    little variety. We saw nothing but an Artemisia and a thorny frutescent Atriplex, resembling those met with on many seacoasts. One felt the desert, and a desert it was indeed already. The heat parched our throats, but as yet we from time to time found sufficient water to refresh us. We arrived at a vast plain covered with dried up mugwort. Numerous hares, disturbed in their seats by the passage of our caravan, invited us to the chase. We took a shot at them as we went on, with a view to accustoming our restive mules to the smell and report of powder.

    At five o'clock we encamped on the Carson River; the water was warm, and sufficiently deep to render the temptation irresistible. We were soon swimming among Potamogeton, putting forth abundance of linear leaves. We then washed all our sorry clothing, with expertness of men and travellers long accustomed to that useful and necessary practice. In the dried-up bed of marsh close to our camp grew an Alisma. We saw not without satisfaction numerous signs of the vicinity of bears, and kept our arms in readiness in the hope of retrieving the opportunity we had lost in the Sierra Nevada. But the bears did not show, and we were compelled to content ourselves with gathering in the mire the large limneas which grew there in myriads. We met with a singular-looking, creeping Lobeliad for the first time on the borders of this marsh, which were embellished by its blue flowers, resembling the pansy.


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    Our cooking in the open air was soon over, and we had dined before night quite closed in. When darkness had overspread the earth, we heard in every direction cries most wonderfully resembling the human voice. It was the cry of the cayote, a species of wolf abounding in these countries, and attracted by our presence as to a prey. These voracious brutes, together with bears, eagles, snakes, and the formidable flies, which drank the blood of our horses and mules, gave to these localities, and to our situation, a charm from its very wildness, if I may so express myself, which the prospect of actual or possible danger only tended to enhance. We spread our blankets on the ground, under the shelter of the little willows, and lay down with the carelessness of Indians, smoking our pipes, and waiting for slumber to refresh our wearied limbs. If tobacco, that modern luxury, the advantages whereof are often disputed, can at any time be considered a blessing, it is after days of arduous and incessant labour, when nature requires, in the absence of reality, sweet and pleasant dreams to lull the intensity of present weariness, or the presentiment of approaching trial; and this the narcotic vapour miraculously effects, like the enchanted perfumes of our story-books which accomplished such magical results. The ancients, who made a god of sleep, would inevitably have deified tobacco had they known it, and would doubtless have bestowed on the new divinity passions to account for its always being so beneficent to travellers, while it is so


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    often obnoxious to society. It would be superfluous to enlarge upon the subject. I have said sufficient to explain why it is I have several times referred to my pipe during the course of my narrative. Finding consolation and pleasure in smoking, why should we not point out this source of real enjoyment to those who desire to follow us in the desert? If a serious apology be ever made for tobacco, it will doubtless flow from the pen of a traveller. Let us leave this digression to continue our journey.

    The 11th of August we did not rise till five, so deep and refreshing was our sleep. The night had been magnificently starlight, and the milky-way was revealed in all its beauty. The morning was sufficiently cool to rid us of the mosquitoes which tormented us during the discordant concerts of the cayotes. At half-past six in the morning the thermometer stood at 13 degrees. While we were at breakfast an Indian, accompanied by a dog, armed with a gun, and carrying a fish-spear, came upon us stealthily, that we were unaware of his approach until he was actually leaning against our baggage.

    At half-past seven, as we were leaving, we took three shots at some ducks, which immediately vanished in the marsh, without our being able to ascertain whether we had shot any. For some time we followed the downward course of the stream, until we again struck upon the track of the emigrants, indicated by dead cattle. We saw a cayote at a distance out of gunshot. We had gone several miles


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    when we arrived at a hut, by the riverside, in which Dr. Winter, the son of a French father and a Dutch mother, dwelt. This man, who spoke German and a little English, told us he had settled there on account of his health, after having broken his leg. He carried on a small trade with the Indians. An Indian friend of his daily caught some ten pounds of trout for him in the Carson. Dr. Winter was exceedingly polite to us; he even offered us a glass of port, doubtless to induce us to forget that we had paid him about fifteen pence a pound for rice; rather a high figure certainly, but which it would be perhaps unjust to call exorbitant. After half an hour's halt in this place, we rejoined our caravan, which had continued on the march. Our road was rough and stony, and overgrown with bushes of Artemisia and Atriplex. From time to time we met with conifers without fruit, which appeared to belong to the genus Juniperus. Black eagles soared above us. We frequently started hares, and saw very small mammifers running along the ground, marked longitudinally with dun and white stripes, and which in form and agility resembled dwarf squirrels. That day we met with two parties of emigrants who had quitted the Mississippi on the 1st of May. Their cattle were in a pitiable condition; some of them could hardly crawl after the convoy, and seemed on the point of drawing their last breath. In all directions the carcases of oxen strewed the ground; many still retained their hides, which were pierced with round holes, through which the


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    cayotes had entered to devour the entrails. These putrid relics frightened our mules; mine in particular shied at them, and I was constantly in danger of being thrown by its sudden starts.

    We frequently came upon the Carson River, its course being exceedingly tortuous, with steep banks on the side we were going. The alluvial ground on which we rode was almost barren and akin to the desert. There were no shrubs, except on the river-banks, and those merely stunted willows and poplars. This distressing sterility was at first oppressive from its strong contrast with the varied vegetation we had met with in the Sierra Nevada. Fortunately, as a compensation, the sky was always clear, and the atmosphere so light, it was delicious to inhale it. Our horizon to the right and left was bounded by low, arid mountains, which compensated for their nakedness by their outlines, ever varying as we proceeded

    We made a short halt at a mean habitation, composed of logs laid horizontally on each other, and the interstices filled up with mud cement. Log-houses is the name given to this kind of dwelling in America. We afterwards continued to follow the course of the stream, in which, from time to time, we allayed our thirst during the great heat of the day. We met a small caravan of four waggons proceeding to California. Several negroes and a negress formed part of the convoy. In the rear of the caravan a Frenchman was stopping beside a dying bullock: we


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    exchanged a few words with our fellow-countryman, who could not make up his mind to leave the poor beast to its fate. He told us he was from Franche-Comte, and was going to try his luck at the mines. He informed us that his party had been attacked by some hundred Indians in the neighbourhood of the Salt Lake. The Indians had fired upon them from a considerable distance, but had drawn off on seeing the bold front of the emigrants, after having received a well-directed fire. They had had two horses stolen by some savages, who pretended to be friendly; he also added, that the loss of a portion of their draft-oxen had compelled them to leave several of their waggons by the way.

    During the remainder of our march we continued to follow the course of the river. At one of its bends we saw a hut, apparently uninhabited. At half-past three we made a halt, encamping under a large poplar. The ground was dry in spite of its vicinity to the stream. The vegetation consisted merely of blue sow-thistles, yellow Oenothera, Equissetum, Marsilea in fruit, Atriplex, Chenopodium, Polygonatum, willow-bushes, a sweet scented yellow branchy composite, and an Artemisia. Felling rather fatigued, we threw ourselves upon the sand to get our dinner, as soon as we had made our arrangements for camping. Three ragged Indians, armed with arrows, one even possessing a gun, came and squatted near us. Their tribe was a branch of the Paiulee, and spoke a dialect the name of


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    which we were unable to ascertain. The following are a few words of this idiom, as far as I could catch them: *

    Soko, horse.
    Pacha, book.
    Taui, knife.
    Paloat, gun.
    Etmokapau, percussion-cap
    Taiuch, hair.
    Tiak, teeth.
    Uike, eyes.
    Anga, mouth.
    Chuiep, nose
    Tatu, hand.
    Och, hat.
    Opele, water.
    Uikes, trousers
    Melio, belt.
    Attago, no.
    Ape, yes.

    One of these savages told us, partly by signs and partly in English, that he had seen us at Sacramento. If this were true, it must be confessed he was not a bad walker. This visit bored us greatly; they wanted us to sell them percussion-caps and a blanket, showing, to tempt us, a ten-dollar piece; but force alone would have induced us to part with either, and we refused. At last they went away, after pestering us with their importunities.

    At dusk, while we were cutting some grass to make our couch somewhat softer, our animals entirely disappeared, either having been driven off by Indians, or having wandered back on their own account, in search of the more luxuriant pasturage of Carson Valley. While George and Mr. Brenchley went in pursuit, in spite of the duskiness, I lit a fire as a rallying-point, at the same time keeping a good look-out on our baggage for fear of Indian thieves and cayotes. The frogs deafened us with their croaking, as if

    * The u is pronounced as in Italian.


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    they had held their peace for a week, and were trying to make up for lost time. In a couple of hours my companions returned to camp without having fallen upon the tracks of our animals, the obscurity rendering all further search impossible.

    About five next morning, after a good night's rest under our poplar-tree, my companions started in search of the animals, and found them about ten miles from camp in a spot better supplied with pasturage. I discovered on rising that a snake had slept under my head. I killed it with a stick, and recovered somewhat from the fright it gave me on discovering that the reptile was toothless. I made ready some chocolate and rice for breakfast, and at ten, our cattle having got back, we resumed our journey.

    We followed the banks of the river, the heat being overpowering, yet at half past two in the shade it did not exceed 33 degrees. A yellow-flowered Cleome, a very large blue Crucifer, a smaller yellow one, a ligneous thorny Chenopodium, a Salicornia, a species of Ephedra, a white Malva, a Mesembryanthemum with small red flowers, a yellow Portulaca, were the plants we observed in the salt lands. On the banks of the river we only met with the willow, the poplar, the Typha, and the Scirpus lacustris. The stony hills at the foot of which we passed were composed of rock, and had the appearance of being of volcanic formation. The ground we trod was covered with a whitish efflorescence, overrun with large lizards, and with others much smaller in


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    size, of an earthy colour, with flat bodies and thorny tails. Eagles and birds resembling our magpie flew on all sides.

    To avoid harassing our animals, which had taken so useless a run the previous night, and finding them apparently knocked up by the mid-day heat, we resolved not to make a long stage, and stopped at half past one camping in a meadow by the river-side. This early halt gave us time to put our affairs in order, to write our notes, to attend to our collections, and even to shoot and fish. Our herborizing was soon over; there was nothing but a Mentha, a blue Sonchus, and a few Grasses. I took some very small fish with the fly. A snake marked with long yellow lines seemed to delight I the water; locusts in myriads devoured the leaves of the willows, and the mosquitoes buzzed about us most unpleasantly. While washing our clothing we saw a hare running on the other side of the river, with enormously long ears and lank body. We were asleep on the grass by nightfall.

    The 13th of August, we were afoot by half past four; beautiful clouds gracefully bordered the horizon, and charmed our eyes deliciously, but soon disappeared, as if in file behind the mountains. Already we began to feel the heat, and hurriedly prepared our rice for breakfast, to get an early start. We were quite ready and our animals loaded, when one of our horses, which was attached to an old trunk of a fallen tree, took fright -- why we could not imagine -- and bolted, trailing the tree after him. He


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    crossed the river, and thus managed to get to the top of a tolerably steep mountain. This incident greatly delayed us, and we could to start before a quarter to ten.

    We left the banks of the river to strike to the north; the plain we crossed appeared alluvial; it had probably been the bottom of a lake; and even in our time, I winter, it was inundated in some places. The earth was white, sandy, and trying to the eyes. A red mallow wort, and a kind of bushy, thorny Dalea with rose-coloured flowers, were the only plants we met with. On all sides were to be seen bare hills. After a hasty march of three hours and a half we struck a new bend of the river, where we decided to camp, fearing the distance would be too great before we should meet with another spot offering pasturage and water. This mode of travelling, however slow it may appear, is nevertheless the most prudent and safe, but it is also the most tedious, for you must make up your mind to an indefinite stay in a not over --attractive locality, in order to ensure the best opportunities of keeping in good condition the animals which are to the pilgrim of the desert what his ship is to the mariner.

    Our camp under the willows was one of the most agreeable we had yet met with. The river was deep at the bend, and rather extensive prairies bordered it on either side. The water looked inviting enough, and we were soon swimming in it, in spite of the presence of numerous snakes, which were bathing with their heads above water,


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    their gracefully undulating bodies distinctly visible. It was really a pleasure to watch the pretty swimming movements of the snakes, and in our admiration we quite lost that feeling of horror these reptiles generally cause. While George, who was already much fatigued with the journey from Carson Valley, languidly got our dinner ready, we herborized and did our washing.

    George, who had laid himself down a few minutes before us, was just dropping asleep on a heap of branches, when all at once feeling something cold on his right arm, he instinctively moved his left hand and found it was a snake, which was coiling itself there. The flurry caused by this event had not quite subsided, when Mr. Brenchley, who had laid himself upon a bed he had made of leaves, felt in his turn a snake under his feet. He gave it a smart kick, and the unfortunate reptile falling upon me, I killed it by dashing it against a tree. Our turmoil soon gave way to merriment, and we dropped off to sleep very calmly, in spite of our venomous bedfellow.

    We rose at half past four next morning, after a sleep which, satisfactory as it had been had not prevented our hearing throughout the night the howls of the cayotes. On folding up our blankets, we found several snakes, evidently of exceedingly pacific intentions, if one might judge from the slowness with which they moved off. Early in the morning I pursued several cayotes, but though they are far from possessing the swiftness of the hare, I could not get within


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    shot of them. These animals, which we then got a good sight of for the first time, resemble more the fox and wolf than anything else; it is the Vulpen macrurus of zoologists. We did not start till five minutes past ten, on account of meeting once more with Murdoch, who was by no means in so great a hurry as ourselves, and whose animals (all horses) were already greatly exhausted from insufficiency of food. We met some emigrants who had come from Ohio; they had followed a track along which they had seen no Indians. The ground we were treading was very broken. We found on it a kind of molten lava, which was exceedingly curious, from the strange shapes it assumed. We soon arrived at a solitary hut, called "Perrins's station." We staid there for a moment to take a glass of detestable port, and once more started on our rocky road. The dust was occasionally thick, and when the wind rose it greatly inconvenienced us. Mr. Brenchley, who had been unlucky enough to break his pipe-stem during his sleep, amused himself by the way in cutting out a new one from the tip of a bullock's horn; he succeeded most artistically after two hours' patient labour. We soon found the ground again covered with a whitish efflorescence; and, at one o'clock, we crossed the river to make a halt on the opposite side in grass affording excellent feed for our animals. Murdoch, who accompanied us, endeavoured to persuade us to remain the night there; but the pasturage was soon thoroughly cleared off by our hungry mules, and


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    we considered the halt had sufficiently refreshed them to enable them to push on somewhat further. At twenty-five minutes past five we left Murdoch, and re-crossed the river, hoping by nightfall to reach Ragtown, which we believed to be a large village at least. While we were on the road, an Indian shot a hare with a single ball. We passed a company of emigrants, encamped under tents; and a little further on saw some suspicious-looking white men, encamped, in company with some Indians, under a shelter of dead leaves. We felt saddened at the sight of three tombs beside the river, each surmounted by a small plank bearing inscription. They were the tombs of three emigrants, who had left the States, where they were living in comfort, to seek a precarious fortune in the land of Eldorado. On of the tree tombs was a woman's, whom her children, perchance, had had the agony of leaving behind them in the inhospitable country. The desolate aspect of the landscape, the shades of evening which already began to close around, gave to these exiled tombs, if I may so express myself, a coulouring which cast a cloud over our spirits.

    "Sunt lacrymae rerum, et mentem mortalia tagunt." At nightfall we were joined by two Indians, who accompanied us without uttering a word. George slept as he rod along, and seemed thoroughly exhausted. His body for the last few days resembled nothing so much as a piece of worn-out machinery. It seemed as though the desert had


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    paralyzed him. He was incapable of thought, and did not speak two words during the whole day. When he learned we were approaching a town he rallied a little, as if he thought all his miseries were about to end. He ceased to sway on his mule, and began to cheer up. We rod as rapidly as our animals could go.

    It was twenty-five minutes past eight when we entered Ragtown. The night was exceedingly dark. We proceeded towards a habitation indicated by a light; it was the dwelling of a solitary American, named Brown, who kept a small grocery store. We shut our animals in a small enclosure, where there was abundance of hay. That attended to, we sat down to a box of sardines, which was all we could get for supper; and we slept as we were, on the side of a haycock, which served us for a mattress.

    The morning of the 15th August caught us sleeping on the haycock in the open air. Fatigue had prevented my feeling a horse-bone among the hay on which I had been lying, and which had half-dislocated my right shoulder-blade. When I awoke, at five o'clock, a dog was lying on my legs, and seemed from that day to adopt me as his master.

    The splendid city of Ragtown, which we had been unable to see on our arrival, consisted wholly of three huts, formed of poles covered with rotten canvas full of holes. One was the property of our host; the second belonged to an American blacksmith, the father of four children;


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    and the third was inhabited by a Pole, who had only arrived there three days before, and whose business consisted in bartering with the Indians and in selling the emigrants a few provisions. The buildings of the city are worthy of the country in which it is situate. The Carson River hereabout flows through a parched and arid country, where nothing grows but a few poplars on its banks, a few wild rose-trees, the Erigeron candense, and a Helianthus.

    The well dug by the inhabitants in the market-place of the city, only yields a milky brackish water, with a more strongly alkaline taste even than the stream. As far as the eye can reach, there are nothing but sterile plains in the neighbourhood. In the morning we bathed in the river, which is shallow, and swarms with snakes and frogs.

    The future of this city in embryo entirely depends on American emigration. Situated at the entrance of a desert forty miles in extent in its narrowest part, Ragtown seems destined to a certain degree of importance, which it will assuredly attain if emigrants adopt that route. The humble start of the city should not raise a prejudice against its destiny; on looking at the source of a stream, the traveller can never foretell the proportions it will assume at its mouth.

    When we had breakfasted off a box of oysters, we saw to the shoeing of our animals, -- a lengthy operation, on account of the paucity of the blacksmith's utensils. The


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    heat and flies, though we could hardly keep our eyes open, hindered our getting the rest we were anxious for, in order to be in good case for passing the desert the following night.

    An old Indian chief, with an honest expression of face, came to see us. From him I obtained the following words of his language, in which the u and the other vowels are pronounced as in Italian: -

    Pihi, breast.
    Arapp, cheek.
    Kima, come here.
    Paa, water.
    Tabiui, knife.
    Toich, pipe.
    Nobi, house.
    Noregua, woman.
    Apio, to sleep.
    Henhen, yes.
    Aza, no.
    Cocho, match.
    Muchu, beard.
    Mubi, nose.
    Neumenga, belly.
    Uo, hair.
    Naka, ear.
    Mai, hand.
    Tama, teeth.
    Iecho, tongue.
    Kuta, neck.
    Noro, throat.
    Kegu, foot.
    Uicha, leg.
    Chotua, hat.
    Piche, good.

    The old Indian repeated the name of his nation (Paiulee) before each word, so that at first I thought it was an expression used before each sentence; but I soon gathered that he simply meant to say, "We Paiulees say in our tongue." I made him dine with us. He was so sensible of the honour and a few other marks of kindness, that tears fell from his eyes at our departure. To see me writing down the words as he uttered them, and repeating


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    them long afterwards without a mistake, seemed especially to astonish him.

    We could not get ready till six o'clock p.m. The Pole gave us a stirrup-cup of whisky, and we left in excellent spirits, hoping to get over the forty miles of desert during the night.

    The plain we crossed was sterile and sandy. At first we met with a few bushes of Atriplex and Salicornia, and afterwards not a vestige of vegetation. We left, at about a league's distance to our right, a deep lake about a mile and a half in diameter. The Indians, who believe the lake to be bottomless, allege that at certain periods a wonderful fish appears on its surface, and spouts the water to prodigious height.

    We hurried on our cattle, now in good condition, as fast as they would go. When night overtook us, the moon, which was just entering into her first quarter, soon setting, left us in absolute darkness. We came upon a drove of eight hundred head of cattle on their way from Ohio, and lying in all directions in our road, at about twelve miles from Ragtown, luckily without injury to ourselves or them. The ground had become so hard that it resounded like iron under our feet. Several times we feared we were deviating from our course, and the only indications we had to assure us we were in the right direction were, first, ascertaining that the ground was covered with bones; secondly, listening to the sound of the hoofs of our animals, which showed


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    us whether or not we were on a beaten track. Mr. Brenchley rode at the head of our troop, mounted on a mule, and leading his horse. George, who seemed at first, somewhat revived by twenty hours' sleep, again gave way to his constitutional somnolence, and fell asleep on his mule, having first secured himself to the pommel of his saddle with a strap passed round his loins.

    We rode all night over uneven ground, sometimes covered with rocky fragments, but for the most part sandy. The silence and darkness sent us almost to sleep, and to shake off drowsiness I was frequently obliged to jump from my mule and follow our caravan on foot. About two in the morning we witnessed a very singular effect of nocturnal mirage; it still remaining almost as dark as it was, the heavens seemed to mingle on all sides with the earth, so as not to present the slightest trace of the natural horizon, which was now refracted into a circle around us, the radius of which did not exceed from nine to twelve feet.

    The 16th of August, at three o'clock in the morning, we stopped by a river with swampy banks, which it was impossible for us to cross in the dark. We halted for half an hour, and smoked our pipes while waiting for the dawn. At half-past three, when the day, beginning to break, permitted us to catch a glimpse of the outlines of the neighbouring mountains, we resolved to ford the river. It was the Humboldt river, which, like the Carson, disappears suddenly in the desert after a course of over two


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    hundred and fifty miles. It is a remarkable fact that both these rivers should sink within the same basin, after having each formed a lake a few miles above the point of their complete disappearance.* The one, the Carson, flows from the west, and the other, the Humboldt, from the east; thus burying in the same sandy ocean the waters of the Rocky Mountains, and those of the Sierra Nevada.

    Until Six o'clock we continued to cross most desolate and arid tracts, in a kind of wide basin, bordered with mountains which, from their form and colour, were evidently volcanic. A whitish efflorescence, similar to that we had already met with, covered the ground as with a crust of hoar-frost, which crunched beneath our feet. A narrow strip of meadow extended along the banks of the river and followed its windings, still keeping the same width. We here met a party of Americans encamped, with a drove of seven or eight hundred head of cattle. The captain and owner of this convoy, Mr. Gibson, had been killed on the road by some Indians, who came up pretending to wish to shake hands with him. We selected a spot at a little distance from these people, and fixed our quarters at eight o'clock close to the edge of the Humboldt, in the middle of a lean salt pasture which appeared to be the best in the vicinity. Our mules, as soon as they were unpacked, rolled in the sandy earth on the edge of the marsh with such evident enjoyment that we almost envied them.

    * See Note V. at the end of this work.


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    The heat became so intolerable towards the middle of the day that we could not remain I camp without shelter. It was impossible to find in the whole neighbourhood a branch of sufficient size to enable us to stretch a blanket to shield us from the burning rays of the sun. We succeeded however in obtaining a little shade by fixing a piece of stuff by its four corners to the pack-saddles of or mules, notwithstanding which we were still in a heat of 37 and a half degrees, although the air could fan us from the four cardinal points. George did not wait for the erection of this tent; he no sooner arrived than he fell asleep on the grass, with his head covered with a handkerchief.

    The waters of the Humboldt at this point of its course, a little below the lake of the same name, which is formed by its expansion, were slimy, fetid, and as white as soapsuds from the soda with which the floating Potamogeton were encrusted. The stream was so sluggish that there was no perceptible current. Thousands of dead fish, destroyed by the prevalence of alkaline salts, floated on the surface of the water, which they contributed to render still more fetid. Vast flocks of piscivorous birds of many species incessantly beat the air with their noisy wings. Muskrats, about the size of a leveret and not unlike small beavers, continually furrowed the surface of the river, making use of their flattened tails for rudders.

    The most disadvantageous feature of our camp was, that although seated on the banks of a deep river, we were


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    entirely without drinkable water. We were, however, ultimately compelled by thirst to overcome our repugnance, and put up with what we could get. We made the water somewhat less nauseous by the admixture of a few spoonfuls of ground roasted beans, which had been sold to us at Sacramento for ground coffee. As soon as the drove of cattle, which were lower down the river, had moved off to pass the desert we had just crossed, we perceived two very suspicious-looking Americans coming towards us, who lived in the vicinity among predatory Indians, with whom they associated to rob the emigrants of whatever excited their cupidity. These men had the impertinence to overhaul our traps, and importuned us to give them many things that were absolutely indispensable for our journey. They so insolently refused to return a fleam they had laid hands on, and which they seemed determined to keep, that we were obliged to use threats of resorting to violence if they did not restore it, and take themselves off at once. They did so after trying to convince us they had only bee joking. When they had gone, some armed Indians approached us with a familiarity evidently assumed for a purpose. We kept them at a distance, and they disappeared.

    As were desirous of only giving a day's rest to our animals and being off next morning, I made all haste to look about me for plants of the desert and of the riverbank, while Mr. Brenchley was occupied in looking after the cattle, following them so as to allow of their feeding freely without scattering.


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    Everything around us was almost dried up. On the alkaline and sandy soils alone, were to be found the Atriplex, Chenopodium, Salicornia, a scented, thorny, glandulous Dalea, and aphyllous, stiff-looking, fetid Capparid, with yellow flowers, and on the banks of the river, some Scirpus, Chenopodium, Atriplex, Ficaria, Mesembryanthemum, and a smooth Boragewort, resembling that which grows on the shores of the Sandwich Islands (Steenhammera?). The prairie appeared to owe its meagre condition to the locusts which still hung in numerous clouds over the neighbourhood.

    About six in the evening I had done exploring and returned to camp. While I was pressing my plants, Mr. Brenchley came in with the animals, woke George to deliver them into his charge, and set himself to work to mend his trousers, which were torn halfway up the leg. At dusk, while I was busy cooking, he went to George, whom he found again asleep and the animals allowed to stray where they pleased. They had all disappeared, in which direction it was impossible to divine, and two hours' search in the dark proved fruitless. We supped late and without our usual gaiety, on account of the annoyance we felt at George's culpable apathy, who was already stoically snoring before we had hardly begun our repast.

    Mr. Brenchley, whom anxiety about our animals prevented sleeping, rose at two in the morning, smoked his pipe before daybreak, and started about three o'clock without bite


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    or sip, in company with George, in pursuit of the runaways. I remained till four in camp unable to sleep, musing on the country and my position, while the cayotes indulged in their last howls before dawn. I had considerable difficulty in procuring wherewith to make a fire for cooking, so poor and sterile was the soil. At five o'clock, when the sun rose, the thermometer stood at 12.3 degrees; and at mid-day, under the little shelter I had made from the sun, it reached 38.5 degrees, while in the open air it rose to 45 degrees. I found on the ground a largish white scorpion, which I instinctively crushed. The sky was dappled with some beautiful white clouds. I perceived whirlwinds of dust in the distance, caused by a succession of squalls. Their rushing sound was to be heard from afar, and occasionally they reached me, following the winding course of the Humboldt, and ruffling its surface as they passed.

    Towards mid-day, as Mr. Brenchley had not returned, and I saw no signs of him, I made up my mind that I should again have to pass the day I this spot, and I resolved to fix my instruments in an open-air observatory, and afterwards tried to amuse myself with my gun. I first shot a palmiped, to obtain which, I was obliged to swim to the middle of the river, where it fell. The bird resembled a beautiful duck, although it had not the beak of one. The temperature of the water was so agreeable that I prolonged my bath. Birds as large and as white as swans flew noisily over my head remigio alarum. I collected a


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    few Coleoptera which I thought remarkable. We silently seated on the banks of the river, I saw musk-rats coming out of the water, whose flattened tails were as long as their bodies. I wounded several, which fell into the water, and was obliged to swim for them. Their coat is grey, very thick, and silky as that of the beaver. Their ears are small, their teeth strong, their feet are rather wide, and armed with long claws. A black-coloured bird croaked round me like a raven, while another bird of a different kind barked like a dog. Getting into the marshes, I fired into a flight of small birds, four of which I killed, and which had yellow plumage round the throat. These pretty little creatures build their nests, which are tolerably large, with the leaves of grasses, which they suspend to the flexible stalk of the Scirpus lacustris, beside, and as it were, in the shade of the large Phalaris, which divides the marsh with the former plant. I killed on the opposite bank of the river two large birds with long feet, very long and slightly spatulate beaks, and brilliant bronzed plumage. They are piscivorous, but not palmipeds. They fly in flocks and are easily killed. I had for the third time to swim to get them. The water was deep and muddy, and did not appear to run more than a mile I twenty-four hours. Seeing some Indians in the distance on the top of a sandbank facing our camp, it induced me to return to our baggage, and their suspicious movements would not allow of my leaving it again. I cut some reeds (Scirpus lacustris) to make my bed somewhat


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    softer. These herbs are very large, there are some even ten feet in height. I then collected some roots to warm the coffee against Mr. Brenchley's return, but he did not make his appearance. I saw sheet lightning in the distance to the east; the air was infected with disagreeable miasmata, developed by the putrid emanations from the numerous remains of cattle, and from the dead fish which floated among the Potamogeton on either bank of the Humboldt. This country is so unhealthy that it would be dangerous to pass even a week there. The odour of the marshes, the miasmata, the putrid water, the burning heat, the want of fresh meat, the absence of vegetables, would soon engender malignant fevers.

    I waited in vain for my absent companions, mounting guard until ten o'clock, and I began to be seriously uneasy on their account. I then resigned myself to my blanket, and still continued on the watch, but in a more comfortable position. I found another scorpion, white like the first, in a fold of my blanket, and could hear near me the well-known sound of the rattlesnake. I was in utter solitude, and though I had camped out many a night in the open air, I had never yet found myself in so critical and painful a position. The cayotes howled in every direction; in the water invisible animals at intervals frolicked and splashed. Birds flew about, flapping their wings, sometimes without uttering a single note, sometimes giving vent to hoarse and startling sounds. To these strange noises was


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    added the fear of being surprised by Indian thieves, and, with a view of keeping them at a respectful distance, from time to time I fired my gun. But what I most of all feared was, the two scampish Americans, who might have perceived my isolated position, and whom I dreaded from their appearance. I thought if my family and friends could see my position at this critical moment, they would be even more frightened than I was, and give me up for lost. I soon strove to change the current of my thoughts, and was not long before I fell asleep and had dreams which were not of the most agreeable nature.

    The 18th of August, I woke at four in the morning, after having slept tolerably well in spite of all, under the auspices of the Spirit of the desert. I first set about collecting a provision of roots to cook for breakfast. I then had a thorough wash, and skinned the animals I had killed the previous evening. Still no Mr. Brenchley. To give a turn to my thoughts, I went shooting in the neighbourhood taking good care however never to lose sight of my camp. I killed some musk-rats and two large piscivorous birds, of the colour of our common brown owl, standing on long feet, and armed with a thick beak, long, pointed, and at the end of a long neck. These birds stood bolt upright on the river-banks. The skin of their necks was very full and flabby, which led me to imagine they fed upon large fish. They were so fully feathered, that they had all the appearance of being large and plump, but they turned out


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    excessively skinny. Their flight was heavy, awkward, and slow. I saw another large piscivorous bird, whitish, compact as a penguin, with short bill and neck. He kept hovering over the river, but did not approach me. I sent a ball, unsuccessfully however, at a large black eagle which kept at a distance. I saw besides several species of ducks, water-hens, and other smaller birds. I returned to camp loaded with a rich collection, which I was busy skinning when, about half-past two, I heard thunder and saw lightning in the west. A storm was evidently approaching. I hastily collected all my traps to put them and our baggage under cover of our blankets. I placed all our pots so as to catch the rain. Which fell, but not so heavily as I could have wished for my supply of water. However, as it continued some time, I obtained sufficient to quench my thirst and to spare. Soon the shelter under which I had crept, to smoke the first pipe I had yet had that day, so occupied had I been till then, no longer protected me. The blanket which formed my tent was thoroughly soaked, and let the water through in all directions as if through a sieve. I was obliged to turn out of my nest and proudly brave the storm. Numerous whirlwinds, formed by gusts, were visible on all sides. Frogs, fish rats, birds, uproariously contended with each other which could make the most noise in and along the river.

    Towards six in the evening, distant shouts announced the arrival or the presence of human beings. At first I


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    thought they were my companions, but I soon perceived that it was a party of emigrants, who were descending the hill, and approaching the prairie where I was encamped. Taking my gun, I went to meet them, and killed by the way a log-eared hare, among some bushes of Atriplex. The emigrants were twenty-eight in number, men, women, and children included. They had five waggons, and thirty yoke of oxen to draw them. Their captain had been murdered by the Indians on the banks of the Platte. At night they camped about a mile below me, on the edge of the marsh.

    The rain continued to fall slowly, but incessantly, I kept moving about as long as possible, to avoid a chill, and still hoping from one moment to another, that Mr. Brenchley would arrive. But, alas! he did not appear. Had anything happened to him? I at last came to the conclusion to turn in on my saturated rush bed. Naturally enough, being unable to sleep, I thought of my position, of my country, and, with that tenacity of hope which never leaves us, of the delight I should one day experience in the recollection of these hours of terrible solitude.

    "Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit." I thought, above all, of my friend who had left me on foot the morning of the preceding day, without having taken any provision, or other weapon than his knife. "What,' I said to myself, "have they to allay their hunger and


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    thirst? Is not their position as painful as mine is dangerous? Have they not themselves also dangers to encounter? And what shall we do if we cannot find our mules? It is impossible to dream of continuing our journey on foot; the distance to the Salt Lake is far too great to think of carrying on our shoulders the food indispensable for the journey. But my greatest grief would be to retrace our steps without having seen the curious country of the Mormons; my disappointment and regret would be greater even than the fear of remaining in my present solitude for some days longer, although I may have good reason to fear for my life." Turning over all these thoughts in my mind, I at last fell asleep on my wet couch.

    The day following I awoke numbed by the rain, which had continued all night, and after redoubling its force at daybreak, ceased only about seven. I walked about to dry myself, and smoked a pipe. The ground had become so muddy that I lost my shoes in it. My neighbours, the emigrants, struck their camp at eight o'clock, and continued their course towards California. I had another washing-up, to occupy my time as much as to cleanse the things which had been soiled by the storm.

    The sky soon brightened, and the sun appeared, and a breeze sprang up which soon dried the prairie. I spread out all our travelling gear in the open air, and commenced cooking my hare, which I found exceedingly tender and delicious. While I was taking my solitary repast, some musk-rats


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    squatted down in the middle of a marsh, where they appeared to be cleaning their paws after the fashion of cats and rabbits. About mid-day a waggon accompanied by four persons, among which was an old woman, passed at some distance from me. I went to meet them. They told me that they left Missouri early in May, and had travelled without accident till they reached the banks of the river Platte, where they were attacked and severely ransacked by the Indians.

    But still Mr. Brenchley did not come! To enable me to overlook a more extensive country, I again ascended the course of the river, and mounted a kind of lofty down. The height was covered with small blue, black, and red stones, sometimes united in conglomerates, and sometimes detached. I there saw a parched, frutescent Composite, with branches bristling with strong thorns, and with nothing but its involucres to enable me to recognize its family. I caught a magnificent lizard, large and flat, with a sort of horns on its head.* From the top of the hill I discovered the Humboldt lake, which had all the appearance of a small sea, skirted by mountains to the right and left, but principally toward the south-east. The river, which runs through this lake and probably feeds it, passes out through a dip in the hill, which resembles a defile. The summit of this hill forms a small narrow plateau, on which are conglomerates of small black pebbles united by a kind

    *See Note VI. at the end of the work


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    of a quartz or of silica. I also met with a schist in irregular prisms. Near, and just before me, I discovered a plank hut on which an American flag was flying. I proceeded thither, and recognized two pale-faces engaged in card-playing. They were the two visitors who had worried us at our encampment. One of them, whose type was that of an Italian bandit, did not live in this house; he was on a visit to his fellow-countryman, and had resided since the spring on the other side of the mountains. He withdrew when I arrived, and left me with the owner of the hut, who offered me the only chair he possessed, and seated himself upon his bed, after taking my gun to examine it. I did not feel at ease, but when he wanted to try the locks, I stopped him, and said there was something peculiar in the triggers, and that they were likely to break if he pulled them. Once more in possession of my weapon, I was quite determined not to give it up again. My host then put his hand under his pillow, and drew out an enormous loaded revolver, which he cocked as he pointed it at me. "Let me see," said I, "that wonderful weapon," and I laid hold of it with an air of indifference, notwithstanding my inward trepidation. Having examined his pistol, I returned it to him; at the same time keeping my gun in a slanting position between my legs, and, as the American seemed bent upon mischief with his revolver, I cocked my gun, bringing the muzzles to bear upon him with fixed determination of having the first shot. Fortunately


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    he withdrew his weapon, and pretended to laugh, as if he wished to pass it off as a joke. It occurred to me afterward that I should have run great risk in killing this man; for his comrade, who had retired behind the hut, could have shot me without my being able to see him. I quitted this cut-throat place, keeping a good look-out behind me, and regained the summit of the hill, with some doubts however in my mind as to the real intentions of these men. But I soon convinced myself that my imagination could not have been playing me any trick as to their designs against me, when I came to think that such practical jokes as these are not to be put up with when played by strangers, fugitives from society for the purpose of plundering the pilgrims of the desert with impunity. Moreover, what we afterwards learned respecting these fellows convinced me that I had narrowly escaped a serious encounter.

    From the top of the hill to which I had returned, I could perceive another smaller hut on a track which skirted the northern side of the lake. Beyond this cabin I saw some Indians shooting hares with bows and arrows. Having returned to my camp by the bank of the river, I began a letter to my mother, under the influence of a presentiment that I should never see her again; but in writing from so great a distance my last farewell, I strove to support her with hopes I was far from entertaining myself. It appeared to me probable, if not evident that the two


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    Americans would take advantage of the night to rid them-selves of one who might denounce them. Before long, however, I saw Murdoch approaching, who, independent of the assistance he might render me in difficulty, was thrice welcome from the news he brought. The previous evening he had left Mr. Brenchley and George at Ragtown, in good health, but much fatigued, and making preparations to return with the mules, which they had tracked. This cheering message was quite sufficient to restore my spirits, and I set about my occupations singing.

    The heat had been excessive during the middle of the day. About four o'clock there was thunder and lightning in the south-west. Another storm was brewing. I hastened to collect all our effects, which I had spread out to dry; but it was labour lost. A few drops merely fell, the storm having divided into two parts which followed the mountains. I continued my writing, but in a much more cheerful state of mind.

    The surrounding mountains present the same volcanic aspect as those of the Hawaiian Archipelago. They appear to have been formed from the successive and irregular subsidence of the plains, which expand into broad alluvial valleys at their base.

    A few minutes before sunset, miasms, so fetid that they were almost insupportable, spread around my camp. I was feverish, a burning thirst consumed me, but from


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    motives of prudence I abstained from drinking the water of the river by itself, and the coffee which I had made in the morning had been disposed of by Murdoch on his arrival. At nightfall, while making some fresh coffee, I paid a flying visit to the camp of my bearer of good news, and then returned to my bed, which did not appear to have dried in the least. I could not contrive to sleep, for the damp, together with the anxieties of the day, combined to fan the fever in my veins. The dismal howls of the cayotes, and the cries of birds, irritated me dreadfully. I also frequently heard sounds in the distance as of someone shouting. At last, however, towards midnight, I fell into a doze, when Mr. Brenchley and George arrived, overcome with thirst and fatigue. They drank copiously the coffee, but could not eat, notwithstanding my roast hare was uncommonly savoury. Although pretty well knocked up with fever, and very faint, Mr. Brenchley would not attempt to sleep till he had given me an account of his campaign.

    It was now seventy hours since he had left me to go in search of our beasts. The first day he had walked until ten in the morning, when George who had been long supported by his arm during the journey, at length exhausted with fatigue, heat, and thirst, sank upon the ground unable to proceed, a mere insensible log. The two travellers experienced excessive noise in their ears while exposed to the influence of the sun in a desert, which is considered


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    impassable on foot by day. They only reached Ragtown the morning of the following day, having neither eaten nor drunk since the evening of the two days previous, and having walked nearly fifty-four miles on foot. They had suffered so severely from the sun, that they could not walk steadily, or rise easily after lying down. Mr. Brenchley, whose feet were swollen by the burning heat of the sand, was obliged to slit his boots open to get relief. Our animals had arrived at Ragtown on the 17th, before daybreak, having thus crossed the desert in less than a night, with such courage had the bait of good cheer inspired them. The honest inhabitants of Ragtown had already appropriated them; and now surrendered them with a very bad grace, at the same time exacting a sum of fifteen dollars, to indemnify them for their keep, for which amount Murdoch became surety. The altercations on the subject lasted some time, and it was not till the afternoon of the 19th that the accounts were squared. It was about two o'clock before they got off, and as the animals were unencumbered, they started them off at a trot. The want of saddles and bridles rendered equitation by no means an easy task with mules reluctantly turning their back on good pasturage. About ten at night, when it was very dark, the animals became restive; Mr. Brenchley's mule fell with him, and in the scuffle he received a kick on the nose from a horse, which fractured the bone. George, who was fast asleep on his beast, could not keep the animals


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    together, and away they went, leaving the wounded man on the ground. Although smothered with blood, Mr. Brenchley at once perceived that no time was to be lost. With immense determination, he went in pursuit of the fugitives, overtook the, with difficulty got them together again, and succeeded in bringing them back, not without breaking out at the provoking apathy of George.

    The accident that had befallen Mr. Brenchley, and which I had not discovered owing to the darkness of the night, was serious, inasmuch as it was accompanied with fever and exhaustion caused by fatigue and loss of blood. The wound was carefully washed, and we were greatly relieved to find that the kick had injured only the bone of the nose. The only dressing the wound received was frequent bathing, and the fracture healed itself in six weeks.

    We rose at five on the 20th of August, without having been able to sleep, both on account of the damp and the strange noises, more than usually frequent, made by the animals in the desert.

    I dissected a fish which I had taken in a dying state from the edge of the river, to endeavour to ascertain the cause of its morbid state. The viscera were swollen, inflated, and inflamed. I could perceive no other symptom, and I attributed it to the action of the great proportion of alkali contained in the waters of the Humboldt.


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    Murdoch, having heard indirectly that his brother's convoy had been attacked by the Indians, came early to bid us farewell, and started before us. Mr. Brenchley was still suffering from fever, which however did not prevent his bathing as soon as he had done ample justice to the breakfast which I had prepared. Four ragged Indians came pestering us. Although we were all in a more or less febrile state, we resolved not to prolong our stay in this unhealthy locality. We therefore arranged our baggage, and were so debilitated, that we had some difficulty in loading our mules. We accomplished it however, and resumed our march at a quarter past ten, feeling intense satisfaction in leaving an encampment which had proved so fruitful in misfortunes.

    We followed the eastern bank of the Humboldt lake, leaving it to our left. High arid mountains flanked the valley on either side. Thousands of white birds, larger than swans, swam majestically on the calm and oily water of the lake. Their beaks were large and somewhat long. Their wings were tipped with a black line at the extremity of the pinions. Before they could rise on the wing, they were obliged to take a long run on the water. We were thoroughly absorbed by this spectacle, which seemed to repay us somewhat for our past misadventures, when we perceived that one of our best pack-mules -- that which we had named Peke -- did not seem so vigorous as usual, and could no longer keep pace with rest. As she appeared


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    to be suffering from the gripes, I unpacked her to afford her relief. However, she soon dropped and began to swell at the stomach. Mr. Brenchley, who was in advance, returned, and endeavouring to bleed the poor animal, broke his fleam, and could only obtain a small quantity of thick black blood. About a quarter past one, Peke breathed her last, thus depriving us most abruptly of her useful and important services. To avoid further delay in arranging the baggage in another manner, we placed the load of the beast we had just lost on Jack, a powerful mule, which Mr. Brenchley rode alternately with his horse. But he, being unaccustomed to carry a pack, and apparently considering it an indignity, resisted our efforts and took to his heels. George, who had held my mule while I assisted Mr. Brenchley to load Jack, was clumsy enough to break my bridle, so that I had not the means wherewith to pursue the fugitive. We were losing time, and therefore George was obliged, while we were keeping the other animals together, to mount the horse and go after Jack, but as he went sluggishly along at a trot after a mule, which had started in a gallop, I was compelled to jump upon my mule, whose bridle by this time Mr. Brenchley had repaired, and I succeeded in bringing back the runaway Jack, while George was still in search of him. At last, at two o'clock, we were enabled to resume our journey. I found, as we were about to start, that my powder-flask had broken loose from the pommel of my saddle during the


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    run I had been obliged to take on my good mule Campora. I was compelled to return on my track, and had the good fortune to recover it. As I passed near the carcase of Peke, that ravens were already at work upon it, and the cayotes were approaching to contend with them for the prey. I remarked with surprise the cunning way in which they concealed themselves behind the rocks, in order to prevent my seeing them.

    The level of the lake had fallen within a few days, as was evident from the withered Potamogeton which lay scattered on the pebbles of the bank. The vegetation was meagrely represented by a few Atriplex, Chenopodium, and Poa. Since our departure from Ragtown, we had not met with a single shrub. Having reached the north-east extremity of the lake, we advanced along the border of a broad and extensive prairie, traversed by the Humboldt, and covered with rushes, reeds, and Scirpus. We made a short halt without unloading, to allow our animals to feed in a little nook where the pasturage was unusually good, and then continued on our way until seven in the evening, without finding water, or meeting with the smallest trace of Murdoch. We camped in a spongy marsh within a short distance of quite a forest of Scirpus lacustris and the gigantic Phalaris. We tethered our animals, to prevent their wandering from our sight, and for still greater security I fastened my mule to a picket-pin, round which she could move within a radius of twenty-five feet. As we


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    could not possibly procure water, we lay down to rest supperless. Mr. Brenchley was still feverish and felt very weak. The damp, marshy, and consequently unhealthy spot in which we were encamped, contributed not a little to keep up my friend's feverish tendency; but we were compelled to remain, to avoid the risk of finding no pasture elsewhere. Before we fell asleep we mused upon the picturesque lake beside which we had travelled. We thought, above all, if a few Pandanus were planted on its bank, and would but grow there, what a lovely spot it would become, even worthy to be compared with the charming scenery of the tropics.

    We passed a bad night, during which, George did not cease dreaming of robbers, and screaming without waking. We rose at half past three, drenched with dew. I proceeded as far as three miles from our camp to collect some plants. The spongy ground I had to pass over was covered I all directions with a whitish efflorescence. An articulate Salicornia, growing in little bushes, or a violaceous green, together with a Chenopodium, were the only plants that struck my attention. I penetrated into the middle of the rushes, at the same time sinking till I was knee-deep in the mud. These rushes were eight feet in height, and formed a sort of forest; noisy birds sported in the openings, and snakes crept in every direction on the mire, among the shells of dead mollusks. By sinking a hole in the marsh, I obtained some drinkable though somewhat muddy water.


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    I returned to the camp thoroughly refreshed, and with the idea that my companions would also have obtained wherewith to quench their thirst. But they had not been so fortunate. I had sent George into the marsh early in the morning in search of water, but he had returned in a few minutes and had lain down again, saying he could not make his way through the reeds. So that Mr. Brenchley, who was still suffering from his wound and from fever, had been unable to allay his thirst. I took a pail and hastened back to the precious source I had discovered; George decided on following me. The unfortunate captain was of afraid of snakes, and this it was that prevented him from going in among the tall reeds, preferring rather to suffer from thirst than come to close quarters with a few reptiles. As we were entirely without combustible with which to perform our culinary operations, we satisfied our hunger with biscuit and raw salt pork which we moistened with cold coffee.

    At ten o'clock we started. While crossing the prairie we met two Indians, and perceived three others who were hiding themselves in the reeds. We saw some of the habitations of these savages; they consisted solely of a few reeds stuck into the ground in such a manner as to afford a little shelter from the mid-day sun. On arriving at a place where I imagined we should find sufficient water for our mules, I penetrated into the marsh amidst the reeds, and although I had advanced more than a mile, I could


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    find nothing but mud. Large Typha, together with a tall Umbellifer, formed a compact and almost impenetrable mass.

    In an opening, I saw a small round meadow in which grew some Scirpus lacustris, some Phularis, a small Juncus, a Schoenus, an Alisma, a rather singular Lemna, and a Castilleja with yellow flowers. I experienced much difficulty in retracing my steps, and only brought back a very small quantity of water in my two pails, barely sufficient to allay Mr. Brenchley's thirst. The heat was suffocating among the reeds, and I was in an intense perspiration. We proceeded on our way, continuing to follow the side of the marsh, on ground which the trampling of cattle had rendered very rough. As far as the eye could reach, not a tree, however small, could be seen. The mountains, still of the same volcanic aspect, were naked from top to bottom. We followed the marsh to its northern extremity, and afterwards quitted it to ascend a small sandy dyke, on the summit of which were six wigwams, all of them crammed full of women and naked children. The wigwams, solely composed of rushed set upright in a line, to form a shelter from the mid-day sun, were roofless and without the slightest protection to the south, east, and west. A rush mat propped up lengthwise, pointing east and west, and suspended almost vertically, gives the best idea of these primitive habitations. We asked the inhabitants of the village for some water. The women rose and pointed in the direction in which


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    we could find it. In fact, at a short distance we heard as it were the sound of a waterfall. It was the water of the marsh falling perpendicularly into a small hole in the midst of some Typha. There we found an Indian, who, for a little tobacco, descended into the reservoir, and with a pail got as much water as was necessary to refresh our animals. We obtained from the bottom of the water some living Unio of considerable size. This Indian, who spoke a few words of English, gave us to understand that about five miles further on we should again meet with the river. We afterwards rode over sand through a bare and uneven country. We saw, running about under the bushes of the Salicornia, small black and white mammifers, about the size of a rat, but more compact, and so nimble that we were unable to procure any. Our animals were so excessively parched with thirst, that it was useless to try to prevent their drinking the thick mud with which the late rains had formed in the inequalities of the ground. The loss we had sustained in our poor Peke began to tell seriously on our animals, which were now overburdened; nevertheless we could not yet make up our minds to abandon our collections to diminish the weight of their load. Mr. Brenchley's Indian horse could no longer carry his master. As I was lighter, I rode him and gave Campora in exchange; but Riley (the horse) became so restive and unmanageable as soon as he found he had changed his rider, that I had the utmost difficulty in mastering him. I was worn out with fatigue


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    and even dreadfully chafed; indeed that day was one of the most fatiguing I had experienced.

    The mountains which now rose to the right and left were quite as barren as any we had passed, but the varied tints of the rocks agreeably attracted our attention. We arrived at a part of the river where the banks were steep, sandy, and formed of alluvial deposits. Although not very clear, it was running water, and really drinkable. Our animals drank their fill, and with an eagerness that almost partook of ferocity. We forded the river in search of pasturage on the opposite bank, but finding nothing save a few small widely scattered willows, we returned upon our steps and continued our rout in the desert.

    Night came without our having seen a single blade of grass. Everywhere the skeletons of cattle, and, occasionally, of horses, indicated that we were still in the track followed by the emigrants. We pushed on our mules. At sunset the mountains were clad with exquisite tints; some illuminated by the twilight presented shades of delicate rose-colour, while others were of a lovely blue. The setting sun moreover was wrapt in magnificently golden clouds, blended with others of a rosy hue of inexpressible beauty. The moon gave us sufficient light to allow us to perceive, as we traversed the desert, a few withered bushes of Artemisia and Atriplex. We again came upon the river in a spot where it ran into a deep basin, bounded on all sides by steep wall-like precipices, which we could not


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    possibly descend. We continued our course in the sand, which fatigued me dreadfully. At last, about nine at night, after getting into a narrow steep ravine, we again came to the Humboldt, and encamped near it on some wretched grass, which our animals however had to make the most of. A splendid moonshine illuminated our camping operations. Although Mr. Brenchley was still suffering from fever, he showed us that he was not to be beat. He undertook the cooking when George had declared he was too exhausted to do anything but sleep, while I myself was of opinion that we had better defer the supper till the next morning. Mr. Brenchley's example put me upon my mettle, and I insisted on making tea. The slender willow-boughs, our only fuel, made cooking a tedious process, and we could not go to rest till eleven; to crown all, our beverage, by some accident, contained quite as much pepper as tea! Travelling, like life, has its little mishaps.

    The 22nd of August we rose at five, having slept well, although we were rather wet with dew. At half past six the thermometer stood at 16.5 degrees. We at last resolved to lighten our baggage of everything that was not absolutely necessary, for it was impossible to replace the mule we had lost. Our entire collection of skins, with the case which contained it, was left behind. We likewise abandoned all our specimens of rocks, three-fourths of our arsenical soap, and all our alcohol, except one bottle. It was a painful sacrifice, but absolutely necessary to enable us to


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    proceed, and especially to preserve our collection of plants, the most important of all, in our estimation, and which was beginning to assume considerable dimensions. Thus relieved of about a hundred and fifty pounds weight, we were able to proceed as if we had not lost the useful Peke.

    While we were occupied with these arrangements, we received the visit of two Indians and three squaws, who came up and accosted us. One of the savages, armed with a rusty old rifle, begged us to give him a pair of boots that he saw among our baggage, and which were the identical ones that Mr. Brenchley had cut open some days before. We told him he should have them if he would fetch us a pail of water from the river, -- not a very easy task on account of the steepness of the slopes, but which was far from impossible, as we had done it even in the dark. He cast many a longing look at the object of his desires before he could make up his mind to strike the bargain. Ultimately he consented, and the moment he became the possessor of the old boots, put them on and ordered his wives to bring him a tough little horse, on which he sprang bare-backed, and started off at a gallop across the steep slopes. These Indians dwell on the crest of the hills, in order to obtain a better view of whatever is going on around them. They resemble eagles on the watch for prey; and it is a very difficult matter to escape their piercing eyes. They sell their wives for horses, and appear to treat them as slaves. They are very rigid in their morals; and the


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    fidelity of the women is assured by the fear of vengeance from husbands and relatives. They are not given to prostitution with the emigrants, as is the case with the women of other savage countries.

    The river ran between two high banks of alluvium. On its borders I saw a few small willows, an Artemisia, a Rosa, a Leguminosa with flowers resembling the indigo, a Heliathus, and Atriplex, a Salicornia, and a bushy frutescent Composita. While I was collecting some of the plants which I had not yet in my possession, I perceived three young Indians, who moved off as I approached, without saying a word, and at the same time pretending not to look at me.

    We resumed our march at half past ten. We had barely started when George, who was drowsy already, fell from his mule, which took fright, started off, and gave him great trouble to catch again. For some time we rode in the deep bed of a river enclosed between steep banks and entirely dried up. We there saw a Ribes, and raised a cloud of dust I procuring it. We afterwards found ourselves again in a desert, which was but a continuation of that of the day previous. We constantly trampled upon the carcases of cattle and horses, until our eyes, wearied with this vast charnel, sought relief in the lofty mountains which environed us, painfully arid as they were. The Humboldt ran a few miles to our left, in a narrow deep ravine which did not allow or our seeing its waters. Numerous quebradas


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    (fissures), sterile as everything which surrounded us, ran at right-angles with the principal ravine formed by the river. The heat was stifling and intolerable. About four o'clock, while it was still intense, we deviated from our course to approach the Humboldt, where we hoped to find a little pasturage. But alas! the prairie was almost entirely dried up. Nothing grew on the winding banks of the river, but a few small willows, a Helianthus, and several species of Artemisia. After convincing ourselves we could do no better elsewhere, we fixed our camp in this spot. We took a bath in clear water, separated from us by a thick bed of mud, which our animals had considerable difficulty in wading through to enable them to drink. There were barely two feet of water in the river; the bottom of which was covered with an ash-coloured sand, beneath which lay a gravel bed formed of all kinds of crumbled rock, among which were thin glittering fragments of glassy brightness. Snakes and frogs everywhere abounded in the vicinity. We caught a handsome lizard, of an elliptic, flattened shape, which had horns at the back of its head. The grass took fire while were making pancakes for our dinner, and it was so dry that we had great difficulty in extinguishing it. Thoroughly tired, we went early to rest on grass so stiff and sharp-pointed that it pierced through our blankets like so many thorns. The unfortunate George especially was tormented by them, and having, in addition to this, lost his second pipe, looked like a man demented with distress and despair.


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    We passed a tolerably good night, and rose at four to do some washing. Our Indian friend of the day previous, the man of the slit boots, gave us quite an early call. He was on his way on horseback to the trading-post of a certain Captain Jones, a few miles distant. We saw him start gun in hand, following the principal ravine. We at first feared that he had gone in search of friends to aid him in plundering us. I gathered a few Potentilla, Rumex, and Rosa. The atmosphere was so dry, that my plants broke in the paper. In packing up our baggage we found snakes luxuriously coiled on our blankets. This sort of incident, which at first gave us some uneasiness, had become so familiar to us that we now scarcely noticed it. We were on the point of starting, when Djemi, one of our pack mules, broke loose from his picket, cast his load into the mud, and bolted over hill and dale. We had so much trouble in finding him that it was a quarter to four in the afternoon before we could resume our journey. We re-ascended the bank of the river, and crossed a desert, which might have been green enough in the spring, but was then absolutely bare. We could see nothing but small dried up Erigonum, dead mallowworts, and here and there a Cactus of the genus Opuntia. The heat, which had been at 37 degrees at two o'clock, continued intense and overpowering. To this we attributed the slight haze which covered the mountains. On our way we saw Captain Jones's grog-shop, which was merely a hut of willow-branches, situate in a most arid locality. The


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    Captain was absent. Two Americans had charge of the bar, and sold the emigrants a spurious kind of whisky. Four most suspicious-looking Indians seemed to be quite at home there. We quitted the hovel at half-past six, after half an hour's halt. We marched as rapidly as possible in the midst of the desert, while we had the light of the moon to guide us through a dry fog. About eleven we descended to the banks of the Humboldt and camped in a very rugged place. We had some difficulty in finding the bed of the river, which we imagined to be close at hand; moreover we had much trouble in procuring water from it. We dropped off to sleep, despite the howls of the cayotes.

    We passed a bad night on the broken ground, which racked our backs. The morning was cold. When day broke, we found our camp was rather agreeable situated, near a willow wood and a verdant meadow. We decided on passing the day there, to attend to our collections, and to refresh our cattle. We were surrounded by some Oenotheera, Polygonum, Artemisia, Pltentilla, Phalaris, Scirpus lacustris, and a Castilleja with orange-red bracts, which appeared to me the same as that of the Sierra Nevada. Three mounted Indians approached us, but afterwards withdrew without coming to a parley. I went shooting in the vicinity, and found some birds in size and shape resembling pigeons. A party of emigrants passed near us in the morning, while I was herborizing on the skirt of the desert. These people, among whom was an Alsacian, took us for


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    merchants who were going on a trading expedition to the Salt Lake. I collected a small Eriogonum, a Cleome with yellow flowers, and a large plant so thoroughly dried-up that it is impossible to say to what species it belonged. I then joined Mr. Brenchley, who was fishing in the river. He handed me his rod, and in less than an hour I took sixty-four fish with locusts, and sometimes even with the bare hook. I continued my miraculous angling until I had lost my hook among the willow branches. All these fish were of the same species, and the biggest barely weighed half a pound. We were surrounded by a veritable legion of locusts. They seemed to live by preference on the rushes, leaving the pith untouched, which gave to some parts of the prairie a very odd appearance. Our repast was all the more delicious from not having eaten anything but salt meat for a long time. It was not, however, on account of the fine flavour of the fish, for it savoured too much of the mud. Towards evening, I fished in another part of the river, and killed forty fish in a very short time, but soon became tired of such easy sport, although when I began I was almost wild with delight.

    George slept through the whole day; our animals fed luxuriously, while Mr. Brenchley and I prolonged our evening till midnight, chatting on various subjects. We fancied we could pass our lives in a spot which supplied with so little exertion a sufficiency for the maintenance of man. It seemed too, considering the brief span of life, useless to


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    worry oneself about that which may happen, or the place of our abode. Nothing so tends to a philosophical mood, or induces one to be content with little, as these happy intervals which follow a long series of privations and painful events.

    The 25th of August we rose at three, after a much better night's rest than the preceding. The cayotes gloriously indulged in their nightly concerts, and seemed howling in response to each other from all points of the horizon. The dilatoriness of George in preparing our coffee while we packed the mules, prevented our starting before half past six. We followed the desert for some time, and then returned to the steep banks of the Humboldt, sinuous in its course, and always deeply imbedded. A sort of haze, diffused over the higher regions of the atmosphere, imparted a greyish tint to the firmament, to which we were quite unaccustomed. We perceived an Indian hut on an eminence. As we rod along we found a bundle of live locusts tied up in a cloth. It was, no doubt, the commissariat of some hunter; for the Indians, like the islanders of Oceania, make no scruple to feed upon locusts.* At noon we halted to let our animals feed. I killed forty fish in half an hour, and among them I found a trout weighing about four ounces. We again set out at one. I killed on an arid soil a bird (tetraonid) resembling a hen, feathered to the feet, weighing four or five pounds, and which the Americans call

    * See Note VII. at the end of the work.


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    grouse. This lucky shot was the cause of a mishap to poor George, who had attached my game to the crupper of his saddle. The bird fluttered in its last struggle, and so thoroughly startled the mule that it made one leap and threw its rider in the most comical manner imaginable. We had afterwards some trouble in catching the affrighted mule. We shortly after met a large train of emigrants, from whom we learned that Captain Jones had been treacherously murdered three days before by the Shoshones Indians, on whose territory we were about entering. Mackay, Captain Jones's companion, who had joined the convoy, informed us he was by the side of his associate when slain by the Indians. He added that he had himself received several balls from four mounted Indians close behind him, armed with rifles. The details he gave of the affair were almost incredible. According to his account, the Indians, who had long known Jones and treated him as a friend, gave him a ball the evening before the murder. The following day, as they were on their way back to the trading-post, the Captain and Mackay were suddenly beset by the Shoshones as they were crossing the Humboldt. These Indians, without uttering a word, seized Mackay's horse; but he managed to spring upon that of his friend, in order to make the best of his way off. This latter incident more especially raised a doubt as to Mackay's veracity, for it was difficult to understand that he could, if severely wounded, have been able to escaped the enemy which surrounded him. He certainly


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    laid great stress on the slowness with which the Indians reloaded their arms, to explain how he found time to get safely off. However, be this as it may, the truth of the matter was that the emigrants had found Jones's body and had paid it the last tribute of respect. But there was another occurrence worth of note. The captain of the train informed us that sixty Indians had come up with him, and without exchanging a word had examined his whole troop and all his waggons, as though in search of somebody. Were they not seeking for Mackay? and was it not probable that Mackay, who at this moment was several miles in advance of the convoy, had been the Captain's accomplice in some offence given to the Indians? Had not the two guests, during the ball of the night preceding the catastrophe, offered some insult to the Indian women? Such were the suspicions which flashed across our minds on hearing the facts of the case. Nevertheless the emigrants strongly urged us to join them and return to California, rather than risk becoming, from our small number, such an easy prey to the savages. We certainly felt the force of these arguments, but could not come to the decision to recede before actually encountering hostility, and we left them on their way to the west, while we continued ours to the east. They heard our determination with regret, especially Mackay, who solemnly declared we should never reach the source of the Humboldt.

    The river, to which we still kept pretty close, was fringed


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    by quantities of small willows, which afforded ample hiding-ground for evil-disposed Indians. We certainly were not entirely free from apprehension, but relied upon our arms which henceforth we kept always in readiness. The arid mountains which we had left behind us, were succeeded by hills bearing some traces of vegetation, and somewhat resembling those in Oceania. An Aster, and Eriogonum, and a small fleshy plant, formed the only vegetation that drew our attention thereabout. A mounted Indian, quitting the bushes, turned and galloped off as soon as he saw us. This certainly looked like hostility. We took the hint, and resolved to camp at five in the most favourable spot for defence. We located ourselves on the grass about twenty paces from the river, in a small plain, bounded to the south-east by a hill which commanded our position, but whose summit was beyond rifle range. While Mr. Brenchley watched, rifle in hand, over our animals, I, with gun beside me, caught ten fish in the river. I afterwards plucked my grouse and served up two dishes of fresh meat for dinner. The hen of the desert, with its red flesh, was pronounced delicious. At nightfall George became so paralyzed with fear as to be absolutely useless. Mr. Brenchley and I then agreed to divide the night into two watches. The first fell to my lot. I watched vigilantly till midnight, the moon shining brightly, and I experienced no annoyance except from the howling of the cayotes. At midnight I awoke Mr. Brenchley, who mounted guard in his turn.


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    I rose at three in the morning, and we made ready for a start before the heat commenced. The morning was very cool. While we were getting the animals ready, we supposed that George had prepared breakfast, but he was so frightened, and so thoroughly torpid, that he had not even ventured to go to the river for water. He was not only useless, but had become a source of danger to us, under the circumstances in which we were actually placed. He could not even kindle a fire, and all thought seemed to have abandoned him. He had not only lost our pipes, but even our forks, ropes, Mr. Brenchley's powder-flask, a water-gourd, etc. He would have lost himself had we not been there to look after and guide him; and all without any ill-will, but through the continuous impressions he had received from the privations and dangers of a life in the desert. We began, alas! too late, to repent of having departed from our original intention of setting out alone.

    We could not get off before six o'clock, considerably out of temper with poor George, who, however, to speak the truth, was not so much to be blamed as pitied for his over-confidence in his own powers. We quitted the dangerous vicinage of the river, to get out into the desert. We saw here and there huge crows perched on the carcases of cattle, which they tore with their powerful beaks. We came across a caravan of a hundred and thirty Americans, who informed us that the Indians did not cease to be hostile for forty leagues from the spot in which we then


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    were. They had heard of the death of Captain Jones, and had the evening before met with a considerable number of armed Indians, who had retired without making known their intentions, as they had doubtless considered they were not numerous enough to attack them with any prospect of success. These emigrants strongly urged us to retrace our steps. When they found it was our fixed determination to proceed, they advised us to travel only by night, without making fires, and saw us continue on our way with an expression of countenance which plainly said, "Poor fools! you are lost men." Perhaps they were right; but if man drew back at the first obstacle that stopped him in his career would he ever succeed in the smallest undertaking?

    We pursued therefore our journey, not indeed without some uneasiness it must be confessed. Some Indians on foot crossed straight before us. Our mules seemed to smell and wind them as though they were enemies, for they strove to run away, and we noticed that they always showed the same inclination under similar circumstances all the way to the Salt Lake. We often remarked this instinct. Our mules from the time of that meeting never could endure the vicinity or presence of Indians. It would appear as though the brute had a keener instinctive knowledge than man of danger, or of an enemy. Just as I had fired my gun at some immense black crows, two Indians started out of the bushes by the river and took to


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    flight. I felt that our shooting must cease for the future, as it attracted the attention of the Indians. The mountains, which were at some distance from either side of our way, although generally arid, showed some traces of vegetation at the bottom of the large ravines. Not far from the river we met with signs of Indian cultivation in the Atriplex, with pale pink leaves and a salt taste. In the desert we saw heaps of them, collected by the Indians. The seed of this Chenopod is used I making a paste which serves them as a substitute for bread, and resembles the Quinoa of the equatorial Cordilleras. We crossed, amidst clouds of dust, a desert several miles in extent, where bushes of the Artemisia grew to the height of four or five feet.

    The mountains to our right and left hemmed in the desert we were crossing, so as to give it the appearance of a broad level valley, with the river Humboldt running nearly in the centre, whose course was indicated by willows, here and there forming tolerably dense thickets. We kept nearer to the river than to the base of the mountains. In this locality we were soon convinced that we were being watched by the Indians. As fast as we advanced, they gave notice of our position, by signal-fires to the right and left on the crest of the mountains. These fires, which have so sinister an aspect to the traveller who is being tracked like a wild-beast, not only point out to the warriors the position of the enemy, but also serve to call in those at a


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    distance to the point of attack. We were evidently in danger. The river, at this point, flows in one of those defiles which the Americas call a canon. It was in this spot that the Indians, knowing we could take no other road, hoped to surprise and attack us. A small willow wood afforded them excellent shelter from observation. We could see their village at a distance, in the centre of a prairie on the other side of the river; some of them were to be seen galloping, crouching down on their horses. One of them, concealed behind a bush, was watching us without imagining that we had perceived him. Profiting by the experience acquired by Mr. Brenchley while traversing the Sioux country, we retired from the river, where the enemy lay in ambush, and bore to the right, without however approaching near enough to the mountain to be within range of their downward fire. When the Indians perceived our manoeuvre, the raised a shout, and did not seem inclined to molest us. Nevertheless we were far from feeling comfortable. The space between the mountain and the river converged more and more, and although we purposely kept midway in order to be less within range of balls and arrows, we were not long in discovering that we were between to fires, distant no doubt, but which could reach us if the Indian rifles were worth anything. Our only hope was based on getting through the pass before the Indians mustered the courage to attack us. We held our weapons in readiness, and kept a sharp look-out on all


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    sheltered places. George saw nothing, heard nothing; fear had paralyzed him. He allowed his mule to follow after the convoy at its own pace. Mr. Brenchley went in front, and I in the rear, in order to keep our animals between us. The Indians rarely attack except by surprise and when under cover. This made us most ardently long to get quickly to the plain which we had in view about a mile further on. We were very uneasy; but yet each minute increased our hopes. The enemy seemed no longer in motion; but, with the telescope, we could see the women of the village all looking towards a point close by us. Suddenly we received a discharge from the bushes; we gave them four shots in return; we heard their yells, and presently a score of horsemen galloped off towards the village. Had our fire told? We shall never know. Mr. Brenchley received an arrow in his neck, and I had been struck with five buck-shot, only one of which had penetrated to any depth. The arms of the Indians were not good enough for the distance: our wounds were slight. The arrow by which Mr. Brenchley had been hit was not poisoned, and its iron head had only penetrated an inch, without touching any important artery. We dressed each other's wounds before resuming our march. My mule had received a small bullet in the abdomen, which drew blood; I succeeded in extracting it, and she did not appear to suffer further.

    This baptism of fire had made us pugnacious. We were


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    hardly safe from this serious danger, than we began to regret we had not to continue the struggle. We felt proud at the flight of our enemies, and of the way in which we had so fortunately escaped with our lives. We felt much inclined to pursue the Indians, but prudence would not allow of it. There is a strange fascination in peril, and man seems to be so constituted, that no sooner has he escaped from a dreaded danger, than he longs to encounter it again.

    George alone was unwounded. He owed this chance to the position he occupied among the baggage-mules, from which in the distance the Indians doubtless could not distinguish him. He did not even seem conscious of what had take place, and we never mentioned it to him. We found with regret that the slight deafness which had affected him since the commencement of our journey in the desert, had made frightful progress. We thought he was deranged, and from that time we felt more pity for his weakness, than displeasure at his want of energy and courage. We did not lose much time in this necessary halt, but pushed on for the plain, where alone we considered ourselves in safety. We camped at one o'clock, in the middle of a barren prairie, where we might see the enemy arrive from any quarter, if indeed, they were not already in ambush among the willows which at intervals bordered the river. We hoped to get a little rest; but before closing his eyes, Mr. Brenchley perceived that George,


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    on whom we had relied to watch the animals, as he had had his full dose of sleep the last few days, could not resist a morbid drowsiness, and he was obliged to remain awake in spite of his fatigue. Uneasy myself on account of our animals, I did not prolong my sleep. I washed my clothing in the river, and afterwards, at six o'clock, we dined on pancakes and ham. At night we noticed a magnificent moonrise. The willow-bushes which skirted the river were a source of fear to us; they might server to screen Indians on the look-out to surprise us. We felt that we could not pass the night in this dangerous locality. We resolved to make a march of twenty-three miles under the cover of the darkness. We set off at eight o'clock by the light of the full moon, leaving our fire well supplied with bushes, to induce the Shoshones to believe we were still in our camp. George could not saddle his horse, we were obliged to do it for him. We entered another valley more to the east. All was still around us. At half past ten we turned to the right upon the tracks of emigrants, which led us into the middle of a desert towards two hills, and then suddenly ceased there. We passed over rocks covered with a few bushes. We had wandered from our course. We rod across the country, endeavouring to meet with some trace of the emigrants; but as we did not know the course of the river, we mistook our direction. We crossed the dry bed of a stream, and had to climb a very steep hill. Mr. Brenchley led the


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    way, and George, being unable to urge on his mule with sufficient vigour, was constantly so much in the rear, that we were obliged to wait for him. We had to force our way through the bushes. If we should fall into the hands of the enemy! The birds and cayotes vied with each other in their cries. We feared, as is frequently the case, that the howl of the cayotes was counterfeited by Indians in the hope of entrapping us. The ground was dreadful to the feet of the mules, which frequently stumbled over the large rolling stones. We met with several Indian trails, and thought we could distinguish huts in the distance. We also had several ditches to cross. Large Artemisia frequently obstructed our path. We saw a Composite in external appearance like the Spartium, whose capitula were small and yellow.

    At one in the morning we once more struck on emigrant tracks.

    Our cattle with difficulty ascended a mountain covered with Artemisia and Atriplex. The summit of this mountain was intersected by a small valley, whose right side we scaled, to seek a resting-place where the Indians could not perceive us. At four in the morning we fixed our camp in a hollow, on the summit of the mountain, at a great height above the waters of the Humboldt. The sun rose soon after. We were distressed to find that our cattle had nothing to feed on but a dried-up woody Artemisia, which the Americans call Sagebush, and a few Crucifers and


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    Cloveworts, long since dead. The ground was covered with stones; I could not find a better place to lie down than the dry bed of a torrent, where the gravel was tolerably fine. I slept a little until the intense heat woke me. I was dying from thirst; a violent fever greatly prostrated my strength. I almost gave way to despair. We had not the least chance of obtaining water. I strove to rally myself by calling to mind the pleasant incidents of my travels. But the fever mastered me. I could hardly rise, and my knees bent under me when I attempted to stand upright. My mouth was parched, my legs were cramped, and there was a disagreeable humming in my ears. Mr. Brenchley stated that the latter sensation was exactly the same as that he had experienced in the desert near Ragtown. And thus the day went by. In the evening, I left Mr. Brenchley to do all the packing himself. He was even obliged to place me on my mule, and at eight o'clock we resumed our march by the light of the full moon.

    We followed the valley of the summit, and noticed to our left a natural cave full a hundred feet above us. We descended the mountains, and came upon a long, arid sandy plain, producing some Salicornia. I was suffering dreadfully from fatigue, rendered intense by the want of water, and the absence of sleep. After several hours' march, we saw on our left a small prairie traversed by the dry bed of a river. We deviated somewhat from


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    our course in the hope of finding water. We found some, indeed, in a marsh, . ...

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    cool, but unpatatable, alkaline, filled with Ceratophyllum, insects, frogs, and snakes...

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    At a quarter past three, our mules suddenly broke loose from their pickets and fled in terror. ...

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    from us. The desert was cvered with Sagebrush and Salicornia...

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    The 29th of August, at half past four in the morning, fearing to be overtaken by daylight, ...

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    met with on our route; a flaxy Asclepaid, with binary fruit, containing a long white silk; ...

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    of the water, better living, and a purer air than we had met with in our recent encampments.. ...

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    recollections, these bursts of affection, soon gave way to an irrestible desire to sleep...

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    and birds hovored around us. The heat of the sun was no longer powerful; ...

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    ought to have crossed the river earlier, and returned our steps to seek an egress...

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    114                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    oil it contains. All vegetation in the vicinity was burnt up with the sun; ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                115

    and the Helianthus annuus. We met with freshly cut stems of Helianthus here and there..

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    116                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    evident that emigrants had already attempted to surmount this pass. ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                117

    of willow which we found in our vicinity, and in preparing our instruments for the next day's observations..

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    118                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    Mr. Brenchley took a short turn in search of game, and brought back a splendid grouse, ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                119

    which we had encamped. We saw our rivulet disappear in the ground..

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    120                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    populars. For some time our path lay over a verdant prairie, which however led to a precipice....

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                121

    obstacles as we might encounter, and that we would trust to the chase for sustenance...

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    122                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    wooden cabin with two large chimneys. We also perceived two smaller huts in its vcinity. ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                123

    them. An empty room, without a window, full of dust, and open to the weather..

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    124                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    with steel, cooper, iron, or glass trinkets. They have large mouths, man;y countenances, ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                126

    had caught the pronunciation. It must be borne in mind that the vowels are always pronounced as in Italian...

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    126                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    an assertion when I call to mind their long addresses to the spirits, in the time of sickness ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                127

    cradle a strap was attached, by which it could be borne on the shoulders like a knapsack. ..

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    128                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    tan the hides, pound the grain, make the clothing and mocassins, take the horses to pasture, ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                129

    The Shoshones, being nomads, have no fixed settlement or place of encampment....

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    130                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    kinikinik, which is much milder. This they obtain from three different plants. ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                131

    requisite to guess in which hand the stick is hidden, which they pass about ....

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    132                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    her go and prostrate herself on his grave, and heard her sing a wild air, ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                133

    of the raven, the barking of dogs, the yelping of foxes, in a word, the cries of all animals,...

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    134                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    river waters it throughout its length, and its banks, visible from a distance, ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                135

    some grasses, etc. All the Monocotyledons were dead, as well as many other plants, ....

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    136                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    but the desert and life in the open air have too great a charm for the savage. ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                137

    shortly after we left it. Doubtless at the present time it would be difficult to find a vestige of it ....

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    138                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    did not make our appearance at the Salt Lake at the time they reckoned we should be there, ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                139

    and he admitted indeed that he had the good fortune to be a Latter-Day Saint...

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    140                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    in his own way, without having to bow to the authority of the President of the Church. ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                141

    them all; and that moreover it has deviated from tradition, in not retaining either Apostles, ....

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    142                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    recently in California, but the Mormon chiefs forbade their co-religionists ever seeking to avenge his death, ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                143

    and predicted the disruption of the Union on account of the depravity of its Government....

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    144                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    Joseph Smith was of large build, he was more than six feet in height, and weighed 212 pounds. ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                145

    animated as a preacher in the pulpit; his stentorian voice occasionally rose to such a pitch....

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    146                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    well-made for one of his race, and possessing some intelligence. ...

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    [facing page 146]


                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                147

    nothing to do with the guilty Shoshones, but could rely on the Indians of his district. ....

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    148                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    Salt Lake, without trying to follow the usual emigrant track. We hoped thus to avoid histile Indians, ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                149

    also need to thank God, whose Providence often saves us by the very disappointments which assail us, ...

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    150                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    as travellers: misfortunes should be borne without a murmur, for they often produce good and preserve us from evil. ...

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                     FROM  CARSON  VALLEY  TO  HAWS'S  RANCH.                151

    fellows, under the safeguard alone of their conscience and their God?

    In the immense plains and countless valleys of America, where so much virgin soil only awaits the fertilizing hand of labour to open its bosom, where millions of individuals whom the crowding of cities transforms into the pariahs of society, could find their place in the sunshine of independence and fortune, one occasionally meets with scenes which recall to mind the lives of the ancient patriarchs of Asia. Haws in his desert was the king of all creation, and esteemed himself happier than on a throne. He reminded us of the good old man of Oebalia, whom Virgil has depicted in such charming colours.

    "Regum aequabat opes animo; seraque revertens
    Nocte domum, dapibus mensas onerbat inemptis."






    THE 15th of September, at half past ten in the morning, after receiving the affectionate farewell and the blessing of Mrs. Jaws, we once more set out upon our journey. Our caravan consisted of Haws's waggon, drawn by two horses and a mule, of six saddle-horses, and of eight pack and saddle mules. Haws, Sokopitz, and Bourgeois accompanied us, and George also, our hosts having refused to take charge of him. Carlos Murray came in the capacity of guide, to point out to us the least difficult pass of the mountain. Mr. Brenchley's charger, with a very sore back, followed us loose, and George rode a horse which Haws had given him in exchange for one of our mules which was put to his waggon.


               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          153

    We crossed several rivulets as we followed the foot of the mountain, and passed along the borders ....

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    154                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    Finding himself discovered, he started off on his errand. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          155

    not find his horse, and we were obliged to delay our march to pursue the runaways.....

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    156                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    the day, and on our spirits also. At a quarter past three we stopped at the extremity of the prairie, ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          157

    hastened to light a large fire and dry our dripping clothes.....

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    158                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    with his pipe, his hands being so benumbed as to make it troublesome to cut his tobacco. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          159

    glistened on the summit of the mountains. From the desert we were crossing, we could see on our right ....

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    160                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    large fusiform tap-root. We had a hearty laugh at George on crossing one of these rivulets, ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          161

    sick, restored sight to a blind old man, and the use of her limbs to an old woman ....

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    162                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    and a slight frost covered the ground. Bourgeois rejoined us at five ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          163

    at eleven, at first passing through bushes of grease-wood, entirely covered with pretty yellow flowers. ....

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    164                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    flowers, but remarkable for its length of leaves, grew upon the rocks. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          165

    in the vicinity of our camp, a number of white stones resembling an incrustation. ....

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    166                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    having deranged the branches, had sunk through them, and it required a good strong lift ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          167

    the hill I had just explored, we camped at a quarter past ten in the bottom of the gorge, ....

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    168                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    lay down to rest on the ground, without taking the time to eat. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          169

    we met with a few bushes of the Salicornia ....

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    170                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    was so beautiful and so liquid, the green avenues appeared so fresh ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          171

    delight. Nothing was wanting to captivate the eye; and the details were metamorphosed ....

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    172                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    eight o'clock we halted to repose a little on the salt crust, and at eleven at night we resumed our way. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          173

    There was not a drop of water near the spot, but I noticed a few blades of dry grass ....

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    174                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    made use of it to prepare some chocolate, which every one pronounced delicious. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          175

    around us. While we were dining, we heard the well-known sound ....

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    176                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    midst of a salt prairie, and then started ahead of the caravan. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          177

    to each other. The houses in Grantsville, about fifty in number, are nearly all built in one continuous line, ....

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    178                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    where, as we passed by, we saw a new saw-mill, worked by water-power. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          179

    whose water is as blue as that of the ocean. In the immediate vicinity of our camp was a large rock ....

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    180                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    rise to as much as 3250 feet and more above the level of the water. ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          181

    general use. At the time of our arrival, we observed upon the shore, on the yop of the salt, ....

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    182                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    what is called the Great Salt Lake of Utah. It is not the remains of an ocean ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          183

    At seven in the morning we broke up our camp on the Salt Lake to proceed towards the Mormon capital. ....

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    184                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    farm of 8000 acres, on which he bred cattle, and took charge of that of other persons at three cents per head ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          185

    sterile summitts appeared in admirable relief on a cloudless sky. ....

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    184                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    had just set foot. This homage of our companion evinced so much devotion and simplicity, ...

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               FROM  HAWS'S  RANCH  TO  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.          187

    destined to unite the Mississippi to the Sacramento, and hereafter Europe to China ....

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    188                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    Had we not been there, George would not probably have been quite so overjoyed on finding himself again even in a civilized country; for, such was his timidity, that when at Grantsville, though actually knowing we expected him at dinner, he had not the courage to come into town, but had continued his journey without venturing even to ask for food at any of the houses on his way.






    THE holy city of the Mormons, which is for the most part styled Great Salt Lake City, is also called New Jerusalem, Modern Zion, and Deseret (Land of the Bee). Situate in a plain at the foot of the Wahsatch mountains, it is bounded by them and by the river Jordan. The upper part of the city rises slightly, in the form of an amphitheatre, on the slope of a hill. The eye embraces at a glance all its vast extent, without having to rest on any remarkable ediface. The magnificent steeples which are hereafter to pierce the clouds with their aerial spires, have not yet sprung from their foundations. The streets of the city are perpendicular to the course of the Jordan, and.


    190                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    are intersected at right-angles by an equal number of streets parallel to the course of that river. ...

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 191

    and American brandy before tea, which was taken at six o'clock. ....

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    192                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    of our arrival, in a small but at the same time agreeable and intelligent circle. ...

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 193

    returning to their distant homes, to which we sent them back after loading them ....

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    [facing page 193]


    194                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    eighty feet long by forty in width, is built of several kinds of stone ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 195

    angle of this enclosure is the tabernacle, an ediface about 125 1/2 feet in length

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    196                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    the Apostles the gifts of the Holy Spirit and ordination ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 197

    usefully as the working bees of a hive, perfectly justifying the emblem erected ....

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    198                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    it, which has always some to give them, and pays them in clothing, provisions, and fuel. ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 199

    together, conversing, singing, preaching, reading the Bible and sacred works, ....

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    200                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    continent, where they form a new nation, independent, compact, and, in fact, as little ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 201

    Brigham Young is the supreme President of the Church of Latter-day Saints throughout the world. ....

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    202                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    President of the Church, Brigham unites in his hands more power than potentate in the world. ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 203

    adapted to create a favourable impression, he did not appear to pay attention to us, ....

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    204                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    that perhaps the house of Livingston might be able to render us the service we required. ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 205

    have stood him in good stead, as a carpenter, * ....

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    206                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    consented, through their managing partner, Mr. W. Bell, a Scotch gentleman, ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 207

    communication whatever with them, either in the way of social intercourse or trade. * ....

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    208                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    the judges should be immovable, and which every four years summon fresh place-hunters ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 209

    Lastly, a third federal judge, Mr. Styles, brought discredit upon the government ....

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    210                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    government decided, in 1857, on adopting rigorous measures against the Mormons. ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 211

    us to some others among his officials. Afterwards he invited us to enter ....

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    212                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    of our first visit, and that, in consequence, he always felt awkward in our presence. ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 213

    open; and every impartial mind, knowing how difficult it is for any one of us ....

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    214                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    the operas of Mwyerbeer and Rossini. The music, we should observe to the credit ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 215

    very great importance in our eyes, because it authorizes an impartial mind to believe ....

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    216                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    under the control of a municipal regulation which determines every season ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 217

    when it attacks societies, it is an awkward weapon, a sword with two edges, ....

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    200                               FROM  CALIFORNIA  TO  UTAH.                              

    continent, where they form a new nation, independent, compact, and, in fact, as little ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 218

    and senna of their own surgeries. An invalid who has recourse to medicine ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 219

    as to induce us to reject it as absolutely false. ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 220

    that now appeared obscure and absurd to us would become clear and rational by the light of faith. ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 221

    years in the settlement, and had quite recently married an Englishwoman, who seemed devoted to him, and greatly dreaded the time ....

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                       THE  NEW  JERUSALEM.                 222

    to raise a corner of the veil they spread before the gaze of the profane.

    But before commencing an account of their doctrine and social condition as we viewed it, we will briefly sketch the history of Mormonism from its origin to the present day.


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