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noble red man in Cooper's novels, but admired rather than feared the noble red man of the mountains of Arizona. I told the party that if they would rest at my place about three days, I would accompany them as far as Prescott. They consented. The real fact was I was satisfied they would not reach Prescott unless I did see them through. So I tied my blankets to my saddle, packed a few pounds of dried beef, jerky, a little coffee, sugar, crackers, etc., to last four days, as the distance to travel was a hundred and sixty-five miles, without house or inhabitant. The third day out we reached the summit of the Aztec Range, since called Juniper Pass. It was about 10 a. m. The grass was good, so we camped for a rest, as before us lay a ride of ten miles through a rocky, bushy canyon. I advised that we let our stock rest till dusk, as it would be much safer to ride through this canyon in the night. We had hardly got our stock unsaddled and picketed, when we heard what appeared to be a wild turkey gobble not a quarter of a mile away. The turkey appeared to be in a small, rocky, bushy canyon, leading up a low mountain to the south of us. My travelling companions now declared that nothing would taste so good as a fine, fat wild turkey. I told them it was not a turkey they heard, but Indians imitating a turkey to lead them into the rocks and brush so they could fill our backs with arrows, as our breechloading rifles were too formmidable weapons for open warfare against the bow and arrow. But my companions did not believe me. Such was their appetite for wild turkey that they were ready to risk their lives. I reasoned with them and said: "You see it is now ten in the morning. Wild turkeys do their gobbling on the roost, never so late as this in the morning. Again, if we have frightened a flock of turkeys, they would cry “Quit! Quit!” and sulk off into the brush out of our reach, for it is the time of year they have their young.
“My reasoning they did not heed, but turkey they must have; so I took my rifle in hand and went with them toward the canyon. The turkey seemed to travel as fast as we did, and kept up its gobble. As we reached the mouth of the bushy canyon, I called their attention to footprints in the sand, some made by bare feet, and some by moccasined feet. This took away their appetite for wild turkey. We returned to camp and when it was dark we packed up and rode nearly twenty miles that night to open country. I was then, and have since been, satisfied that I saved the lives of this party. However, a few months later I learned through the Arizona Miner' that two of these men were waylaid and killed by the Indians.
"I had taken a contract to haul government freight from Fort Mohave to Fort Whipple, near Prescott, and Camp Verde. There was to be about six hundred tons of freight, and the contract commenced July 1st, 1866. I had purchased ten mule-teams of ten mules each, also ten oxteams of twelve oxen each. With these teams I intended to haul this freight. The country from the Colorado River to Fort Whipple, a distance of a hundred and sixty-five miles, was uninhabited. I was obliged to build a road first, then fit out men with improved arms, and would generally hire men (sometimes men who were travelling through from California would volun
teer for protection) to assist to guard the trains while en route, and improve the roads when needed. For wagon-master and drivers I hired a party of young men who came through. They had been driving teams on the plains from the Missouri River to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for Russel, Majors & Co. and were thoroughly posted on Indian tricks and Indian warfare. They had had a little experience in the army of the South that helped accustom them to the use of arms, and they were of the right stripe-full of grit and dash. I believe those men would rather have fought Indians than eat when hungry. They really enjoyed themselves. They looked upon an Indian as a wild beast, and they always got away with the fight. During that fall and winter many an Indian was converted from a bad Indian into a good one, and they remained good ever after. In fact the Indians learned to fear these drivers and gave them a wide berth, and made but little trouble after a few brushes. I did not lose a hoof of stock during the year those boys
a handled the teams.
“I loaded the mule train with freight about the 10th of September, and told the boys as they pulled out that I would overtake them on the road and stop a day with them, and be at Fort Whipple to help unload. I was detained at home two days longer than I expected, but finally got off at 4 p. m. alone, intending to take advantage of
the darkness of the night for my protection. The Indians were either superstitious about night or cowardly. They never attacked at night, but were always up at daylight and would sometimes try to stampede the herd, but with my train always lost out. I would ride two or three hours fast, then dismount and let my horse roll and pick grass about five or ten minutes, then saddle up and go as fast as the horse could travel and stand up to it. I expected to have reached the train before morning, but it had had good luck and made more miles than I expected. I rode a noted large buckskin horse. When daylight came I found old camping places. I rode on until after 4 p. m., until I overtook the train, and had ridden over a hundred and twenty miles. The train had camped on the same ground that I had camped upon when the turkeys tried to fool me. During the day I noticed signal smokes rise from hill and valley and mountain tops. I could read these signal smokes. They meant war. I could read in these pillars of smoke the number of teams I had, and the number of men with the train.
“The question will naturally arise, how did those Indians make those signal smokes? In those days the Indians had no knowledge of matches. They had no guns. Each Indian when out on the warpath carried two sticks, one of dry stock of beargrass with notches cut in it, and the other a hard stick like an old fashioned fog-horn ramrod. They would place the sticks with notches on the ground, put their feet on it, and set the other stick with the end in the notch, then roll fast between the hands. Within half a minute they would start a blaze of fire, caused by friction. These sticks the Indians called 'ocacha.' They sometimes used flints. These the Indians called 'otavia.' When the fire was started they would sprinkle a little pulverized pitch or resin on it, and this would start a black smoke quick. Then they would spread a handful of green weeds or grass on the fire and a white smoke or steam would follow. Again they would remove the grass and blow the fire a little, and add pitch. Thus dots and dashes would be made, quite like the old-fashioned way of telegraphing on paper. Again at night I have seen signal fires on the side or top of mountains and a blanket or robe passed in front of it conveyed information. There was no patent covering this way of conveying news 'by the savages. I have seen on a calm day a column of smoke with black and white spots rise near one thousand feet high. I have known correct news concerning the movements of United States troops in war times to be smoked through at least three hundred miles in two or three hours, and news by courier five or six days later would prove the news by Indians to be correct.
“As I dismounted, Jack, the wagon-master, said: 'We will have fun to-night.' I said: 'All right, we'll give them the best we have in the house.'
“The teams were unharnessed and hitched to the wagons, and fed grain. There were in the train ten drivers and one wagon-master, and two night herders. These men had their beds on top of loads and with a wagon sheet over them, would ride and sleep during the day. There was also a cook, and it so happened that five tramps or extra men were along. As soon as we could get supper the night herders took the stock, my horse included, out about one mile in open ground to herd. Two of the drivers went along. This time they spread their blankets under a tree and went to sleep. At a little before day these men were called and saddled up ready for