Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

river bed would expose me to the Indians, as the moon was just rising, and if I tried to go around through the catsclaw, I should have no clothes nor skin either, when I got home. It took me sometime to think over the situation, and all the time I could hear the voices in the cut. At first I was frightened, but the fright soon gave way to anger, and I determined to slip up to the edge of the cut and turn my double barrelled shotgun loose among them, then use my Colt. So with great caution, I moved to the side of the cut, both barrels cocked and gun to shoulder. Right there I learned for the first time what it meant to be really frightened, for there arose out of the cut a lot of big hoot owls, right between me and the moon which was just rising over the mountains. I nearly fell to the ground and my knees were still trembling when I reached home. In fact, my knees are a little shaky until the present day.

"A few weeks later we had turned our horses out on a creek known as Copper Creek, about three miles above our place, as there was good grass and plenty of water there. I went to look after them about once a week, but one day I did not find either Beauchamp's or my own horse. Instead I found where two men with shoes on had driven them off towards the.west. I wert home and reported; took some coffee, pinole and a tin cup to eat out of, and went back and took the trail. That night I followed them to a point between Skull and Kirkland Valleys, where I camped. The next morning I tracked them about three miles to where some Mexicans were placer mining in Kirkland Valley. There I lost the track among the tracks of the stock that the

Mexicans had there. I could learn nothing from the Mexicans, so I gave up the hunt and returned to the mine. My horse was very hard to catch, and the other one would stay right with him, which accounted for the men not getting them, and saved us the horses, for we got them a month later at Peeples' ranch.

“About December 1st, 1863, we got our arrastra working, and Christmas eve following, we cleaned up $298.50, the result of one ton of orethe first quartz gold taken out north of the Gila River in Arizona.

“When Beauchamp and Mahan went to Weaver after tools and provisions, there was but very little provisions to be had there, and Beauchamp gave the last of our money to a man he had known in California who had a pack train of mules. This man, Jose Juan, was anxious to go to Tucson for supplies, so Jack gave him the money with the understanding that when he returned from Tucson he would bring us provisions. When Jose Juan got to Tucson he could get no flour in the town, so he went on to Hermosillo in Sonora, to load his train. In the meantime our provisions had run low, and finally were all gone but red beans. Of these we happened to have a good supply. We might have got some provisions on credit, but we were expecting Jose Juan in every day from Tucson, and did not wish to leave our work and use our poor horses to make a three or four days trip. Consequently we stuck it out on beans straight until we had made our run of one ton of ore, not knowing at the time that Juan was obliged to go to Sonora to load his train.

[ocr errors]

“With the gold that we had retorted in an old musket barrel, I started to meet a Mexican train that we heard was coming from New Mexico with provisions, with the governor and his escort and staff. I expected to go as far as Chino Valley (Del Rio), but met the outfit at Granite Creek, where Prescott now is, and it was a very agreeable surprise to me. I was awful hungry, although I had that day killed a chicken hawk and broiled it on the coals of my camp fire, one built on purpose for the occasion. That night I stayed with Uncle Joe Walker, who led the Walker party to Arizona, and had good grub for the first time in nearly one month. The next day I returned to the mine early, and we all had a big feed for Christmas dinner.

“In the latter part of November, two men, John Laughlin and Valentine, came to our camp and told us of a strike that had been made in the mountains east of the place where Lambertson lived, and as I could not work much, and Valentine and Laughlin pressed me to accompany them, I took a pair of blankets and a little four and coffee, and went the following morning with them. We went to Lambertson's ranch, and Mrs. Lambertson told us that Lambertson and Gross, (he was the man who found the rich ore), had left there that morning to go to the mine with burros, to pack in ore which they proposed to work with an arrastra. We took the fresh trail and just at night reached their camp on Turkey Creek, which was near the new strike. There we camped near Lambertson and Gross, and the next morning there was several inches of snow on the ground. Lambertson and Gross gathered up their outfit and returned early in the day, but my party decided to stay one day more, thinking it would clear up. But it did not clear until the third day. We had with us two pair of blankets, and we made a shelter of one pair and all slept between the other pair. We stopped one end with pine boughs and built a big fire at our feet at the open end of the shelter. Our flour and coffee were out, and we were forced to go home without accomplishing anything. Laughlin lived on Groom Creek. Hie was partner with R. W. Groom, while Valentine had a camp near by on the same creek, so we concluded to go to that place. We had a hard job wallowing through the snow, but made it to the head of the Hassayampa about four o'clock, and there we found some men who told us of the finding of the Vulture mine. Valentine remarked that he would go down to the Hassayampa Sink, as we then called it, and “talk Dutch to Henry, and get an interest,' which he did. Valentine was killed later at the nine-mile water hole near Tucson.

“About January 1st, 1864, Mahan went to Weaver and got his wife who had been staying there with her sister, and also brought quicksilver and powder. We had to use rifle powder which cost $1.50 per pound in small cans, and make our own fuse or, as it is called, ‘squibs.'

“On the thirteenth day of February, 1864; John Pennington came to our place, having traveled from where he and U. C. Barnett were camped about six miles up the creek, and found us at breakfast. He wanted help to follow Indians who had taken their last horse and started only a short time before he left his cabin. The Indians had taken a trail that led past our place

[ocr errors]

a

and about one and a half miles to the east. Bar

a nett followed on the trail and Pennington was to meet him at a prominent outcrop of quartzsite that the trail passed by. Beauchamp and I got ready while Pennington ate some breakfast, and with our sack of pinole, we started for the appointed rendezvous. When we got in sight of the big outcrop of rock, we could see Barnett about four hundred yards back of the outcrop waving his hat and crouching down, which meant for us to keep as quiet as possible.

“When we got to Barnett, who had not moved from the place where we first saw him, he told us that he had seen a smoke on the opposite side of the big ledge before we came in sight, and supposed the Indians had made a camp there. It had been threatening to storm for some time, and by this time it was snowing pretty hard. We at once set out to see what was behind the bluff, making as little noise as possible. When we got to the south end there they were in a little gulch among the thickest kind of brush. We opened fire on them, but our guns were covered with the snow that was falling as hard and fast as it could, and we never knew what effect our shots had, only we got an old butcher knife, a lance, and bow with a quiver of arrows. The Indians had killed the horse and were cutting the flesh off the bones when we came upon them.

We all returned to the mine, nearly frozen. That storm lasted five days, and our house, which was built of rocks and covered with dirt, leaked like a sieve, and continued to leak for sometime after the storm. We continued work and took

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »