After I was through talking with Jack, Gen. Wheaton sent for me to come to his quarters, as he was anxious to learn what information I had obtained. When I told him the number of Indians yet in the cave and that they had nothing to eat, he asked me what would be my plan for capturing the remainder. I told him that if I was doing it, I would capture the entire outfit without losing a single man, but that it would take a little time; that I would not fire on them at all, but would double the picket line, and it would not be many days until they would surrender, and in case some of them did slip by the guards, we would pick them up before they got twenty miles away.
The following morning a council was held in camp, and all the commissioned officers were present. Now Captain Jack had been captured, and according to reports, the other Indians were nearly starved out, so that morning they did not open out on them at all.
The third day from this it was reported by a citizen who had passed over the country that day, that he saw Indians up on Tule Lake. It being late in the afternoon, nearly dark in fact, when I heard the report and it not being from a scout, I questioned closely the man who was said to have seen them, but did not get much satisfaction from him, so naturally discredited the report. But for fear there might be some truth in it, the next morning by daybreak George Jones and I were scouring the country in the vicinity of Tule Lake. After having ridden some little distance we ran upon the trail of six Indians, who as we supposed had passed the evening before, and were evidently plodding along in the direction of Lost river. This was without doubt the trail of four bucks and two squaws. After we had followed this trail a few miles we found where they had stopped, built a fire, caught, cooked and ate some fish. We knew they were not many miles ahead of us, in fact, the fire had not entirely gone out. From here on we had plain sailing, and the nearer an old scout gets when on the trail of an Indian the more anxious he gets, so we sped along up the lake four miles further, and were on them before they knew it; they were all on the banks of the river fishing.
In this outfit there were Scarfaced Charley and Black Jim, their squaws, and two other Indians. The moment we saw them we both drew our pistols, but concealed them from their view by hiding them under our coats. When we approached them they all said, "Good morning."
I did not see any guns near them nor did either of them have pistols. Scarfaced Charley said: "We like go reservation; too much hungry, my squaw nearly dead, ketchem some fish her, purty soon go."
After I had informed him that I would have to take them all back to Gen. Wheaton's quarters, Charley said: "What for?" I said: "Charley, I will take you all back to headquarters, give you all plenty to eat, and when we get all the Modoc Indians they will be taken to the reservation." "All right, me go now," said Charley, as he started, eager to be off on the journey for headquarters.
I asked them where their guns and pistols were, and they said: "O, me hide them in lava bed, too much heavy, no like carry." So George Jones took the lead, the Indians followed him, and I brought up the rear. I could see that they were very weak from hunger, but they plodded along, encouraged by the thought of getting something to eat at Gen. Wheaton's quarters.
We arrived there at noon, and when I turned them over to the General and told him their names, he said: "It is with the greatest of pleasure that I receive them. Now if I only had just one more I would be satisfied. That one is Schonchin. I would then have all the ring leaders."
Up to this time I had not learned what would be the fate of those Indians directly interested in the assassination of Gen. Canby and Col. Thomas, and I must admit that I was terribly surprised when Gen. Wheaton informed me that they would all be hanged. From those Indians I learned that Captain Jack and his council were not on good terms, having had a falling out while in the cave, and they would not speak to each other while at Gen. Wheaton's headquarters. The cause of the trouble grew out of a proposition by Captain Jack to surrender, and he had been talking surrender for two weeks past, but the rest of them were in favor of fighting to the last. Mary, the squaw, told me that they at one time came near putting Jack to death for cowardice, and that was the reason he had deserted them, knowing that his life was in danger in the cave.
From this on we captured one or two Modocs every day. The fourth day after the last band referred to was captured, one of my scouts reported having seen Indian tracks at the head of Tule Lake, but could not make out the exact number, I had just lain down to take a nap, it being early in the morning, and I had been riding all night, but George and I saddled our horses and were off for the head of Tule Lake, Gen. Wheaton promising to send a company of soldiers after us at once.
We struck the Indian trail about twelve miles from headquarters, this being the first band that had escaped from the west side of the cave.
As soon as we discovered their trail we put spurs to our horses and sped along up the river, for the trail was plain and we experienced no trouble in following it, and just above the Natural Bridge on Lost river, we came on to them. Some were fishing, some were cooking the fish they had caught, and others were eating fish. It seemed that each one of them caught, cooked and ate their own fish. Seeing no arms we rode up to them. There were twelve of them, and among them was Sconchin, the other councilman who the General was so anxious to get hold of. Sconchin said: "Go Fort Klamath, all Injun heap hungry, now ketchem fish, eat plenty, by and by go to fort."
I had George Jones turn and ride back to hurry the soldiers up, for I did not deem it a safe plan for two of us to try to take the whole crowd prisoners, for even though they had no arms they might scatter all over the country and then we could not get them only by killing them, and that I did not want to do. While I am in no wise a friend to a hostile; I believe in giving even an Indian that which is justly due him, and I must admit that all through this Modoc war I could not help, in a measure, feeling sorry for the Modocs, particularly Captain Jack, for I knew that through the negligence of one agent and the outrageous attack upon Jack by the squad of soldiers on Lost river, while there catching fish to keep his people from starving, he had been driven and dragged into this war, and I do not believe to-day, nor never did believe, that Captain Jack ought to have been hanged.
I have often been asked, since, what I thought of the arrangements Mr. Berry made for the meeting of Gen. Canby, Col. Thomas and Captain Jack, but I have always refrained from answering that question any farther than that it seemed to me that a school boy ten years of age should have known better than to have made such a bargain as he did, knowing the nature of Indians as well as he claimed to.
But to my story—I stayed there and engaged the Indians in conversation while George was making tracks back over the same road that we had just come to hurry the cavalry up. I learned from them that there were no more able-bodied men left in the cave, and there were some twenty or thirty squaws and children, besides several warriors that were wounded. In about an hour from the time George started back, the soldiers made their appearance.
I told the Indians that we would have to take them prisoners and take them back to headquarters. This, however, was not pleasant news to them. They objected to return with us until I had informed them that they would be fed and protected until such time as we could get them all, and they having been acquainted with me before, we were successful in persuading them to return peacefully to the General's quarters.
It was late in the afternoon when we returned, and I at once reported to the General the number of Indians, also that Schonchin was in the gang, and that I had learned that there were no more able-bodied men in the cave. I told him that from what I could learn, I thought it perfectly safe for three or four men to enter the cave and secure the few remaining Indians. The General said: "I will think the matter over until morning."
That evening the officers held a council and it was decided that in case the following morning was fair, Col. Miller and the Colonel from California whose name I do not remember, myself, and two soldiers would make the attempt to enter the cave, I going as a guide more than anything else.
Next morning about ten o'clock when the fog had raised and the sun came out most beautifully, we made the start for the cave. Although I had never been inside of the cave, I had no serious trouble in finding the main entrance to it, but we found it so dark inside that we had to use lanterns. We had not proceeded far until we could see the fire. I proposed to the others that as I was acquainted with the Indians to let me advance alone, and I can truthfully say that just such another sight I never saw before nor since. There was a number of wounded Indians lying around; here were the bones of their horses that they had killed and eaten, and a smell so offensive that it was really a hard task for me to stay there long enough to tell them what we wanted of them. As soon as I commenced talking to them the squaws and children began making their appearance from every direction.
I told them my business, and if they would go with me they would be fed. They were not only willing, but anxious to go.
By this time the other men were there, and when they were all gathered up Col. Miller sent two men back to camp for stretchers to carry the wounded Indians to headquarters. They were all taken out that day. I do not remember the number of wounded bucks that were in the cave, but there were thirty-two squaws and forty children.
Now the bloody little Modoc war that had lasted so long at the cost of many lives, was brought to an end. This was glorious news to the surviving ones among the volunteers, and the next day they were making preparations to return to their respective homes, or rather Jacksonville, where they would be discharged, and they again could say their lives were their own. This being the last days of June and my services not needed any more, I asked the General when the hanging would take place. He said that it would be about the twentieth of July.
AN INTERESTED BOY.—THE EXECUTION OF THE MODOC LEADERS.—NEWSPAPER MESSENGERS.—A VERY SUDDEN DEPUTY SHERIFF.—A BAD MAN WOUND UP.
I went from there to Yreka to rest up a while. During my stay there, one morning while I was waiting for my breakfast, I was glancing over the morning paper, when a bright-eyed little boy about nine years old, entered the restaurant, walked up in front of me and said: "Is this Capt. Drannan, the scout?" I said: "Yes, my little man. What can I do for you?" He said: "I am going to school and I have to write a composition to read in school, and my mother told me to see you and you might be able to assist me in getting up a piece on the Modoc war." I asked the bright little fellow his name. He said his name was Johnny Whitney. "Where is your father and what does he follow for a living?" "My father is dead, and my mother takes in washing to support herself and children."
That afternoon I spent in assisting the little fellow to prepare his composition. I remained there at Yreka about ten days, during which time I received a letter from George Jones, who was then at Jacksonville, requesting me to meet him at Fort Klamath about four or five days before the hanging was to take place, and also requesting me to bring all my saddle horses. I succeeded in getting up quite a party of business men and citizens of Yreka and we started out across the Siskiyou Mountains. After the first day's travel we found game plentiful and we had a pleasant trip. We had all the game and fish we wanted, which afforded plenty of amusement for the pleasure-seekers of the crowd, which was the main object of this trip with a majority of them. We arrived at Fort Klamath five days before the hanging was to take place. The next day after we arrived a crowd came in from Jacksonville, and among them were Gen. Ross, George Jones, J. N. T. Miller and three newspaper reporters, one of whom represented the San Francisco Chronicle, one the San Francisco Examiner, and one the Chicago INTER-OCEAN. Col. Miller came to me and asked if I would like a job of carrying dispatches from there, either to Jacksonville or to Ashland, saying: "The Chronicle man has not found a man yet that he could trust the dispatches with."
The reporter had told Mr. Miller that he would pay one hundred dollars for carrying the dispatch, and in case he was first to the office, he would also pay one hundred dollars more in addition to that. From there to Jacksonville it was one hundred miles and a wagon road all the way, while to Ashland it was but eighty miles, of which sixty miles was only a trail. This I had passed once in company with J. N. T. Miller. I was introduced to the reporter by Col. Miller, with whom I soon made arrangements to carry his dispatches. He asked me how long it would take me to ride to Ashland. I told him I thought it would take about eight hours with my three horses. He said if I went to Ashland I would have no competition on the trail as the other riders were both going to Jacksonville.
The day before the hanging was to take place I hired a young man to take two of my horses and go out on the trail, instructing him to leave one of them picketed out at Cold Springs, and the other one to take to Bald Mountain, which was thirty miles from Ashland. At this place I wanted Black Bess, and he was to stay there with her until I came and to return, get my other horse, and meet me at Jacksonville.
When the time arrived for the hanging and the prisoners were led to the scaffold, each dispatch carrier was mounted and standing on the outer edge of the crowd, ready at the moment he received the dispatch to be off at once. When the four Indians were led upon the scaffold to meet their doom, each of them were asked, through an interpreter, whether or not he wished to say anything before being hung, but they all shook their heads with the exception of Captain Jack, who informed them that he had something to say.
He said: "I would like for my brother to take my place and let me live so I can take care of my wife and little girl."
The carrier for the Inter-Ocean was the first to get his dispatch, the Examiner the second, I receiving mine just as the last Indian was hung, and now for the race to see who gets there first. It was eleven o'clock when we started. We all traveled together for the first twenty miles, where I left the wagon road and took the trail for Ashland. Now I had sixty miles to ride over a trail and they had eighty miles over a wagon road. At this junction where the trail left the wagon road I bade the other couriers good-day, telling them that in case they beat me they must treat to the oysters when we met at Jacksonville, and I sped away and lost no time in getting from there to Cold Springs, where I found my other horse picketed out as I had ordered. I dismounted, threw my saddle on the other horse, which was apparently feeling fine, mounted him and was off again, leaving the other horse picketed at the same place, so my man could get him on his return. My horse took a long sweeping gallop and kept it up for about twelve miles, by which time he was beginning to sweat quite freely, and I commenced to urge him and put him down to all I thought he would stand. When I came in sight of Black Bess she raised her head and whinnied to me. The young man was lying asleep and holding her rope, while she was grazing near him. Again I changed my saddle from my other horse to Black Bess, and gave the young man instructions to start at once and lead my horse slowly so as to prevent him from cooling off too fast. I mounted Black Bess and now I was on the homestretch. I did not urge her any for the first few miles until she commenced sweating freely, after which I commenced to increase her speed, and fifteen minutes after six I rode up to the telegraph office and handed my dispatch to the operator, who started it on the wire at once. I led my mare up and down the streets to prevent her from cooling off too quick, and when it was known where I was from, everybody in town had about forty questions to ask relative to the hanging of the four Modoc braves.
On leaving the telegraph office I asked the operator to let me know when the first dispatch started from Jacksonville, and while at supper he came in and told me that the Examiner had just started their dispatch over the wire, which was just one and three-quarter hours behind me in getting to the office. The next day I rode to Jacksonville, and the day following the balance of the crowd came in from the fort. Among them were the three reporters, all well pleased with the time their bearers had made in carrying their dispatches, and that night we all had what in those days we used to term "a-way-up time."
The balance of the Indians who were taken prisoners in this Modoc war were afterwards taken to Florida and placed on a small reservation, which, I presume, was done on account of the bitter feeling that existed among the people of that section of the country toward this tribe on account of the assassination of Gen. Canby, Col. Thomas and George Meeks, the interpreter, as well as the many other people that were murdered on Lost river and Tule Lake.
While at Jacksonville a man came to me named Martin, who was a merchant and resided in Oakland, Cal., who wanted to hire me to go out in the mountains some twenty miles from Jacksonville and look after a man named McMahon, saying: "There must be something wrong with McMahon, for he is the most punctual man I ever dealt with; he promised to be here three weeks ago to pay a certain party fifty dollars, but has not been seen nor heard from since."
McMahon owned a band of sheep and was ranging them out in the mountains. Mr. Martin gave me directions, and the next morning I started out for the sheep ranch. I had no trouble in finding the place, but the cabin and surroundings showed that no one lived there. I spent the balance of this day and the next in riding over the sheep range, but could see no one, and only about twenty head of sheep.
On my return to Jacksonville I went by way of Bybee's ferry, on Rogue river, and learned that about three weeks previous to that time a band of two thousand head of sheep had crossed over the ferry, driven by two men. Now it was almost a foregone conclusion that some one had murdered McMahon and driven his band of sheep away, and when I returned to Jacksonville there was no little excitement about the city in regard to McMahon. Some of the business men and citizens with whom I was well acquainted, prevailed upon me to accept an appointment as deputy sheriff, and start out and track the band of sheep up if possible and capture the thieves and murderers, the sheriff himself being very busy just at that time, it being near time for court to sit in that county. After receiving my appointment and taking the oath of office, I struck directly for Bybee's ferry, and for the first twenty miles beyond the ferry I experienced no trouble whatever in keeping track of the sheep, finding a number of people who had seen them, and all gave the same description of the two men who were driving them.
Leaving the settlement, I went into the mountains, spent five days tracking sheep here and there in every direction between Rogue river and Umpqua. Finally they struck off on to the breaks of the Umpqua and were soon in the settlement again, and I was able to get the description of the two men, which coincided with the description given by others.
I found the sheep within about twelve miles of Canyonville, and a young man was herding them who I soon learned to be what might be called a half idiot. He told me that his name was Buckley. I had quite a pleasant chat with him and spent about two hours with him, lounging around, talking about his sheep. I asked if he had raised his sheep, and where his winter range was.
He said he had not owned the sheep but a short time. I asked him if he had bought them here in this country. He said he had not, but got them on the other side of the mountain in the Rogue river country. I asked him if he owned them alone, whereupon he informed me that he had a partner in the sheep business. I asked him what his partner's name was, and he told me it was John Barton. I asked where his partner lived, and he said that he lived down on the Umpqua river and was running a ferry.
Now I was satisfied that I had found the sheep and one of the men and as good as got the other one where I could put my hand on him at any time. I rode down to Canyonville and telegraphed Mr. Manning, the sheriff, that I had found the sheep and one of the men and had the other one located. He answered me by saying that I would have help the following day from Roseburg, that being the county seat of Douglas county, which is sixteen miles from Canyonville, where I then was and which was in the same county. I waited patiently the next day for assistance, but it did not come. Late that evening I went to the constable of that precinct and asked him to go with me and assist in making the arrest, but he refused, saying: "That man Barton is a hard case. I don't want to have anything to do with him." I did not tell him the particulars of the case, and I must admit that I did not know enough of civil law to know that it was necessary for me to be armed with a warrant to go and make the arrest. On the refusal of the constable to accompany me, I at once walked down to the stable and ordered my horse saddled, and inquired the way to John Barton's place. The proprietor of the stable told me how to go.
So concluding to tackle him alone, I mounted my horse just after dark and started for Barton's Ferry. I found the place without difficulty, and although I rode very slowly, I got to the river some time before daylight. I tied my horse in the brush and walked the road until daylight. As soon as it was daylight I saw the house on the other side of the river, and kept my eye on it until just before sunrise, when I saw the smoke commence to curl up from the chimney, and in about fifteen minutes I saw a man come out in his shirt sleeves and bare-headed. I at once mounted my horse and rode down to the river and halloed for him to bring the boat over as I wished to cross the river. He answered by saying: "I'll be there in a minute as soon as I get my hat and coat." He stepped into the house, got his hat and coat and came across. When he landed I walked on to the boat and asked if he was Mr. Barton. He said that was his name, and in a second he was looking down the muzzle of my pistol, and I informed him that he was my prisoner. He asked me what for. I said for the murdering of McMahon.
"Have they found the body?" were the first words that fell from his lips, which he doubtless would not have uttered had I not caught him off his guard. I told him they had, which was false.
"You want to take me away with you and not let me see my wife and bid her good-bye?"
I informed him that I would, telling him that she could come to see him if she liked. He offered all manner of excuses to get back to his house. After I had listened awhile I gave him two minutes to get off the boat and take the road, which he did at once. I did not try to put the handcuffs on him alone, not wishing to give him any drop on me whatever.
I made him take the road ahead of me, and we started on our way for Jacksonville. After we had gone some two miles in the direction of Canyonville an old gentleman and his son overhauled us with a wagon, and I had the old man put the handcuffs on him, after which I allowed him to get into the wagon with the other two men and ride to Canyonville. When I put him in the little lock-up which they had there for such occasions and went and hunted up the constable and asked him to look after Barton until I would return. I could get no satisfaction from him, so I went to a merchant in town and related the whole circumstance to him and asked him to keep a watch or tell me of some one whom I could hire to look after him that I could rely upon. He assured me that he would look after a man, put him there to watch and then we would be sure that he would be safe. I then mounted my horse and was off for Buckley, who I found without difficulty, arrested him, and started on my way back to Canyonville.
He came so near admitting the crime that I was sure I had the two guilty men. I got back with my prisoner just in time to take the stage for Jacksonville. Leaving my horse at the livery stable, I instructed the liveryman to send him at once to Jacksonville and I would pay all charges. I handcuffed both prisoners and had them shackled together, put them in the stage and started to Jacksonville with them. I wired the sheriff that I had both of the guilty parties and would be at Jacksonville on the stage, which was due about six o'clock the next morning.
The sheriff and his deputies met us that morning at the edge of town. It had been noised around that I would be in and they were somewhat afraid of a mob, but we succeeded in getting to the jail all safe, and not until then had I the faintest idea that I had stepped beyond my official duty in arresting those men without a warrant and bringing them into another county.
These were the first white prisoners that I had ever had any experience with. I had taken so many Indian prisoners that never required any red tape, I naturally supposed that the same rule would be applicable in this case, but I got away with it just the same. That afternoon we took the young man off to himself, and when he was questioned by the district attorney and a certain doctor, whose name has slipped my memory, he admitted the whole affair, and told us just where to go to find McMahon's body. When he told us this the doctor drew a diagram of the ground. Buckley said we would find a tree a certain distance from the cabin that had been blown out by the roots, and in that hole we would find the body covered up with brush and chips thrown on top of the brush. After giving this valuable information we at once started out to hunt for the body.
It was now late in August and a little snow had fallen on the mountains in the fore part of the night. By the aid of the diagram we went to the ground after night, built up a fire and waited till morning. As soon as it was light enough to see, the doctor took the diagram out of his pocket, looked at it and said: "It should be near here." He then turned, and seeing a tree that had been blown over, said: "There is a tree that answers to the description." We walked to the tree and at once saw the toe of one of the dead man's boots protruding through the brush. The doctor when gathering wood the night before to build a fire, had walked almost over the body and had picked up two or three chips of wood from the brush which covered the body. We waited some time before the crowd came with the wagon. After they arrived the body was uncovered, loaded into the wagon and hauled to Jacksonville, arriving in time for the coroner to hold the inquest that afternoon, and the following day the body was buried.
The time having been set for the preliminary examination, Barton's wife and her father arrived in Jacksonville the day before the time set for the trial, and his father-in-law employed an attorney to conduct the case in court in his behalf. When Barton was brought into court he waived examination, but it was quite different with Buckley. When he was brought in for trial the judge asked him if he had counsel. He said he did not, nor did he want any, but the judge appointed a lawyer to take his case.
The lawyer took the prisoner off into a room in company with the deputy sheriff and they were gone about twenty minutes. When they returned the lawyer stated that the prisoner wished to plead guilty and receive his sentence so he could start in at once to work it out. Barton never had a trial, for he starved himself to death and died in jail. The jailor told me that for seventeen days he did not eat or drink but one spoonful of soup.
IN SOCIETY SOME MORE.—A VERY TIGHT PLACE.—TEN PAIRS OF YANKEE EARS.—BLACK BESS SHAKES HERSELF AT THE RIGHT TIME.—A SOLEMN COMPACT.
I remained in Jacksonville until about the first of December, 1874, when I received a letter from Lieut. Jackson, who was yet at Fort Yuma, Ariz., stating that there was an opening for me there, and asking me if I knew where George Jones was at that time, and telling me if possible to have him accompany me, as he would insure us both employment in the scouting field upon our arrival.
George was now living twelve miles from Jacksonville. Being sick and tired of idling away my time around town, I rode out to pay George and his parents a friendly visit before taking my leave for Arizona. I found them in rather good circumstances on a small farm on Bear creek, near Phoenix, and a pleasant visit I had with them at their beautiful little home, during which time I showed the letter to George that I had received from Lieut. Jackson. He expressed a desire to accompany me on the trip, but as his parents were now getting old and childish, he did not like to leave without their consent, he being their only son.
Two days later George informed me that he had the consent of his father and mother to go to Arizona, to be gone one year, after which time he was going to quit the business for all time. But we have quit the business before, and then I related the conversation I had with Jim Bridger some years previous at the time I first made up my mind to quit the scouting field.
The time being set for the start, I returned to Jacksonville for my other two horses, clothing, bedding and other traps such as belong to an old scout. All being in readiness, we bade Mr. and Mrs. Jones good-bye and started on our way for Arizona and aimed to reach San Francisco by Christmas. We had five horses in our outfit, I having three and George two. We arrived in San Francisco on the twenty-first of December.
The next morning we were walking up Kearney street near the Lick House when we met the reporter for the Chronicle who I had ridden for at the time of the hanging of Captain Jack and associates at Fort Klamath. The reporter expressed himself as being very glad to meet us, and insisted on our taking a stroll over to the Chronicle office and meet the proprietors of the paper, whose names were DeYoung, their being three brothers of them.
As we had not changed our clothing, having our traveling suits on I insisted on deferring the matter until the next day, but this he would not hear to. As that would not work I tried another plan by telling him that we had not yet had our breakfast, but he told us that he had not yet been to breakfast, and proposed that the three of us take breakfast together, or rather invited George and I to take breakfast with him, which we did, seeing that there was no chance to evade him.
After breakfast we accompanied him to the CHRONICLE office, which at that time was located on the corner of Kearney and Pine streets, and here we met all three of the DeYoung brothers. After being introduced to them and spending some two hours with them, Charles DeYoung, the eldest of the three brothers, gave us a cordial invitation to take dinner with him at his own residence, saying that dinner would be ready at six o'clock. This, I think, was the first time in my life that I had ever heard a six o'clock meal called dinner. Thanking him for the kind offer I excused myself as I was in my traveling suit, and the very thought of entering the private residence of one of the popular men of the city almost paralized me. But my excuses were all fruitless. He would not even consider "No" as answer, and some of them were with us until time for dinner, as he termed it, but what I would have called supper.
With as bold a front as possible we accompanied Mr. DeYoung to his residence, which we found to be a fine mansion on California street. On arriving at his residence we met there some ten or twelve other guests, both ladies and gentlemen. Now the reader can have a faint idea of the embarrassing position in which we were both placed at that moment, and I can truthfully say that at the moment I entered that mansion I would have given three months' wages to have been away from there. George Jones had on buckskin breeches and I had on a buckskin suit, while the guests were dressed in style. I tried to offer some apology, but at every attempt it seemed that I only made a bad matter worse.
We were treated with the greatest respect while at this place, and were asked many questions by the other guests relative to the Modoc war, the capturing of Captain Jack, etc., and the following morning quite an article came out in the Chronicle concerning George Jones and myself relative to the position we held in the Modoc war.
We remained there until the last day of December, on which day we started again on our journey for Arizona, via Salinas, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Here we lay over and let our horses rest four days, after which we proceeded on our journey via San Diego, which at that time was a very small place. From there we struck for the Colorado river and followed down the river to Fort Yuma.
This route we took in order to avoid crossing any of those sand deserts. We were about five weeks making the trip, and reached Fort Yuma without any accident or mishap whatever, and learned that the Indians were worse in Arizona than when we left them several years before, as they were most all armed with rifles, instead of bows and arrows, and many of them had pistols.
Lieut. Jackson told me he had lost more men the last year out than in any other two seasons since he had been in Arizona. He had received orders to take four hundred cavalrymen and one hundred infantrymen and go into the mountains and follow the Indians from place to place the coming season. The Lieutenant told me that there had been a settlement started the last year about ninety miles from the line of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, and they were not only troubled with the Indians, but the Mexicans also came in there and stole their stock and run it across the line.
Gen. Crook was still in charge of the command, and wanted me to accompany Lieut. Jackson, saying: "I do not expect you to do any hard service yourself, but want you to take charge of the scout force and handle it to suit yourself."
If my memory serves me right, it was in the latter part of March, 1875, when we made the start for the mountains. For the first hundred miles our supplies were hauled on wagons, but the balance of the way they had to be packed on animals.
On our way out we passed near Salt River Valley, that being settled up now with Americans. I started to ride out to the settlement to ascertain something of the nature of the depredations committed there lately. I dressed in teamster's clothing and tied a pair of blankets behind my saddle before starting to the settlement. It was late in the evening, just about sunset, and I was riding leisurely along, being within six or seven miles of the settlement, when suddenly I came upon three Mexicans, just cooking supper. They saw me as quick as I saw them, and I thought I was in for it. I was too near them to attempt to get away, so all that I could do was to make the best I could of it, take my chances and trust to luck. When I rode up I spoke to them in my own language and one big burley looking Mexican said: "No indetenda English," meaning I don't understand English. They then asked me in their tongue if I spoke Spanish, which I understood as well as they did, but I shook my head as if I could not understand a word they said.
I dismounted, untied the blankets from behind my saddle, threw them down near the fire on which they were cooking supper, but did not unsaddle my mare. I was riding Black Bess, and one of them got up and walked around her and examined her closely, and when he returned to the fire he said: "Esta ismo muya wano cavia," meaning that is a good horse. Another one in the crowd said he had in his pocket just ten pairs of ears that he had taken from the heads of Yankees, and this would make the eleventh pair. Now I thought my time had come, but I had been in tight places before and had always managed in some way to get out.
While it looked very blue, still I made up my mind that when it came to the worst I would get at least one or two of them while they were doing me up. I did not pretend to pay any attention to their conversation, yet at the same time I could understand all that was uttered by them. I learned that there were ten in the gang, and the other seven had gone that night to the settlement for the purpose of stealing horses, and were liable to return at any time. While I was lying there on my blankets I heard them lay their plans to kill me in case I went to sleep, or if I got up and started to my horse they were to shoot me before I got away. Now the reader can rest assured that this was getting to be a serious affair with me, for I knew that these Mexicans could handle a pistol with good success, while they are as a rule experts with a knife, the latter being a Mexican stand-by. This was a little the closest place that I had ever been in. If I attempted to leave they would kill me as sure as I made the start; if I stayed there until the other seven returned, then I would not have a ghost of a show for my life.
I laid there by the fire as though I was worn out entirely, listening to their talk, and more than once heard the big rough- looking Mexican boast of a pair of Yankee ears that he would take from my head.
Their supper being ready, they sat down to eat, but did not invite me to sup with them. They all three ate out of the same frying pan and poured their coffee out in tin cups. Two of them had their backs turned toward me, while the other one sat on the opposite side of the frying pan that they were eating out of and facing me, but they were paying but little attention to me. Black Bess was feeding close by and on the opposite side of them from where I lay. Now I made up my mind that I would make a desperate effort to extricate myself from this trap, for to stay there I knew meant death and I would rather take my chances with those three than with the entire gang. They were all sitting flat on the ground, each had a pistol on him and their guns all lay within a few feet of them. My only show for escape was to kill two of them at the first shot and then I would have an equal show with the other one, but now was the particular part of the work. Just one false move and the jig was up with me, but it was getting time that I should be at work for the other seven were likely to be there at any moment. I carefully reached around under my coat tail and got hold of both of my pistols, and just as I did so, as good luck would have it, Black Bess shook herself very hard and caused them to turn their eyes toward her, and it could not have happened in a better time. I was on my knees in an instant, and leveling a pistol at each of the two with their backs towards me, I fired, and being almost near enough to have touched either of them with the point of the pistol, it was a sure thing that I would not miss them. After firing the first two shots I was on my feet in an instant, by which time the third man had taken a tumble to himself and was on his knees and had his pistol about half out when I fired both pistols at him and he fell back dead. By this time one of the others had staggered to his feet and had his pistol out, but, fortunately, he seemed to be blind, for he fired his pistol in the opposite direction from where I stood. I turned and dealt him his fatal dose.
I tried to catch their pack horses but missed one of them, and as time was precious, for I did not know what moment the seven would come, I took their rifles, broke the stocks off of them, took their pistols along with me, mounted Black Bess, rounded up their horses and started for the train, and I lost no time in getting there, and as I sped across the country on Black Bess after the nine captured animals I felt that I could congratulate myself on getting out of the tightest place I had ever been in, without even a scratch.
When I arrived at camp and reported to the Lieutenant he at once started two companies of cavalry out to try and cut the other seven off, instructing them to watch every trail and every watering place within fifty miles, closely.
I changed horses and started with George Jones and six other scouts, and the last words that Lieut. Jackson said to me as I was ready to ride away was: "Don't spare horse flesh, but run them down Cap, if it is possible, and let us break up this thieving band. I would rather kill one Mexican any time than two Apaches."
Across the country we rode at a rapid rate, but were not able to reach the spot until after daylight. The Mexicans had been there ahead of us and removed everything but their dead comrades, those they did not attempt to remove or even bury, leaving them for the wolves that roved the country in search of food.
We were soon on their trail, which was easily followed, as they were driving a large band of stock. About the middle of the afternoon we came in sight of them. When they first saw us we were so near them that they deserted their band of stock and ran for their lives. We gave chase, but could not get any nearer. We followed them until dark, our horses being badly jaded, and I had now been in the saddle for two days and one night in succession, so we made camp for the night. The next morning a detail of six men was made to drive the stolen stock back to the settlement where it belonged, there being some forty head of horses and mules. The balance of us returned to the trail, lay over and rested one day. This put a stop to the Mexicans troubling the settlement for some time.
Pulling on for the mountains, the second day we saw the ruins of two wagons that had been burned, but could get no trace of the teamsters. The supposition prevailed that they were taken prisoners by the Apaches. The Lieutenant established his headquarters fifty miles from where he had his quarters when we were out before, and now active work commenced, for there was plenty of it to be done.
We had only been there a few days when two of my scouts came in one evening and reported having seen about twenty Indians ten miles from camp and traveling west. The scouts all being in, George Jones and I and four other scouts and one company of cavalry started in pursuit. We had no trouble in striking their trail, and there being a good starlight that night and the country somewhat sandy, we were able to track them easily. We had not followed the trail more than two miles when we passed over a ridge, and I looked down the valley ahead of us and could see the glimmer of their fire. Here the soldiers stopped, and I and my scouts went on in the direction of the fires, which we supposed to be about half a mile away but which proved to be nearer two miles. When we were near the camp we dismounted and crawled up. We located the horses, which were mostly standing still at the time and two or three hundred yards from camp. I "telegraphed" the soldiers to come at once.
Taking the balance of the scouts we rode slowly and carefully around, getting immediately between the Indian camp and their horses, I telling George Jones that as soon as the soldiers started to make their charge to follow me with the horses. But this time the Indians were awake before the soldiers were on them and opened fire on them, killing three horses and wounding two the first round, but only one soldier was wounded, and the sergeant in charge told me afterwards that he got eighteen Apaches out of the crowd, and we got twenty-seven horses. We got back to headquarters about noon the next day and learned that Lieut. Jackson had gone in a different direction after another band of Apaches, which he overhauled and got twelve scalps from their number.
Now we started for a trip on the east side of Black canyon, six scouts and one company of cavalry, with twenty-two pack animals, calculating to be gone about ten days. On the fifth day of our trip George Jones, myself and two other scouts were riding leisurely along about one mile in advance of the command when just as we raised to the top of a little rocky ridge we came face to face with a band of Indians, making a surprise to both parties. I could not tell which party fired first, but we gave them one round and seeing that there were too many of them for us, we wheeled and started back down the hill. As we did so George sang out: "My horse is shot," and just at that time the horse fell. George threw himself clear of the horse and when he struck the ground he lit running, and at his best licks, too. The rest of us dropped behind George to protect him until we were off the rocky ground. The Indians held their distance all the way down the hill, not stopping to reload their When we were at the foot of the hill the three of us that were mounted, in order to give George Jones a chance to ascend the hill, turned and gave them another volley. Here I fired three shots and got two Indians and then spurred up by the side of George and gave him a chance to jump on behind me, which he did. Just as we raised to the top of the hill we met the command, who had heard our firing and came to our relief, and they met the Indians face to face. At this the Indians changed their minds very suddenly, and it is useless to say that they were on the back track much quicker than I could tell it. The soldiers went in hot pursuit of them and got nine of their number. From there we struck off in a south-westerly direction, thinking that when we struck the main road we might run on to some emigrants en- route for California.
We struck the main road fifty miles south of the Lieutenant's quarters. Here we laid over two days, thinking that there might be an emigrant train come along that we could escort through to headquarters, this part of the road being in the heart of the Apache country, and the most dangerous for emigrants from the fact that it is all a timber country and over mountains which, in places, are very rocky, thereby giving the Indians all advantage over the emigrants.
The evening of the second day, just as we were sitting down to supper, I received a message from Lieut. Jackson for George Jones and myself to come to headquarters at once, but he did not state why he required our presence there. As soon as supper was over we started. The dispatch bearer thought it was at least sixty miles, but we had supposed it was not more than fifty, each of us having two saddle horses.
At one place on the road the cayotes turned loose, and it sounded as if there must have been a hundred, all barking at once, and George Jones remarked: "Above all things that I have dreaded while in this business is being shot down and left on the plains for my bones to be picked up by those sneaking wolves, and now Cap, I will make this agreement with you; in case that either of us happen to be killed, which is liable to happen any day, the surviving one is to see that the other is buried if in the bounds of possibility."
I said: "George, we will shake hands on that," which we did, and I added: "You can also rest assured that if ever you are shot down while in company with me, no Indian will ever scalp you as long as I have the strength to stand over your body, nor shall the cayotes ever pick your bones if I live long enough to see that you are buried," and the reader will see later on that I kept my promise.
WE LOCATE A SMALL BAND OF RED BUTCHERS AND SEND THEM TO THE HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS.—EMIGRANTS MISTAKE US FOR INDIANS.—GEORGE JONES WOUNDED.
Just at sunrise we made our appearance at the Lieutenant's quarters, and he informed us that the Indians had made an attack on the settlement on the east side of the San Antonio desert; had killed two families, taken two little girls prisoner and captured a lot of stock from the settlers.
This report had first reached Gen. Crook at Fort Yuma, and he had dispatched the news to Lieut. Jackson. This being a strange country to the Lieutenant, having never been over it and knowing that I had been through it twice, once with Uncle Kit Carson and another time in company with Jim Beckwith, he insisted on my going out in that section to investigate the matter and see whether or not the report was true.
The day following George and I started with four assistants for the settlement. Each of us took two saddle horses and one pack animal for each two men, with ten days' rations. From there to the settlement was about seventy-five miles.
Knowing just where the majority of the Apache force was concentrated, we took rather a circuitous route in-stead of going direct to the settlement in order to ascertain whether the depredations were committed by Apaches or Pimas.
The fifth day out we struck the settlement, but did not cross the Indian trail, which led me to think that the work was done by Pimas and not Apaches.
When we arrived there no one could tell us how many Indians there were nor what they looked like, but when I came to find out the truth of the matter there had been no families massacred, nor had the two girls been taken prisoners, but there had been two boys killed that were herding stock.
We remained there one day in order to learn what we could in regard to the trouble and then struck the trail of the Indians and followed it two days, but it was so old that we gave it up, as it was then twelve days since the depredations were committed and we knew that the Indians were a long ways off by that time. We took a different route on our return, and the second day we saw a small band of Indians traveling toward the settlement, which we had left four days previous. We started in pursuit of them and struck their trail before it was dark. I was confident that they would camp at the first water they came to, which was about seven or eight miles from there, so we staked our horses out on good grass, sat down and ate our lunch while we waited for the clear moon to make its appearance and light us across the country where we might find the noble red men of the plains and entertain them for a while at least. We thought that it would take us about all night to track them up by the light of the moon, find their camp and play them just one little tune of "How came you so?"
About ten o'clock the moon arose, but we waited until it was two hours high, giving our horses a chance to fill up, after which we mounted and took the trail of the Pimas, which we had not great trouble in finding.
After we had followed the trail about seven miles we came to their horses, but could see no signs of any camp, and we at once made up our minds that the Indians were not far away, but that they had either built no fire or the fire had gone entirely out, for we could see no signs of any.
Dismounting, George took one man with him and I took one with me, leaving the other two with the horses, and started out in different directions to look for their camp. After wandering around about an hour I found where they were camped, and they were sound asleep and lying in a row but each one separate. We then returned to our horses and in a short time George came in. It was now getting high time that we were at work, for it was beginning to get daybreak, so after I had explained how they laid, five of us started for them, leaving one man with the horses. They were lying about two hundred and fifty yards from where we had stopped with our horses. We crawled up abreast until within ten feet of the Indians, and each scout drew both his revolvers, sprang to his feet, and I need not say that we made quick work of those redskins. Only one got to his feet, and he did not stand a second until there were three or four bullets in his body, but not one of us got a scratch in this fight.
Now the fun was over and we were not afraid to speak out, so we called out for the man that we left in charge of our horses to bring them over, and we gathered some wood and built a fire.
It had been several days since we had had fresh meat, but the Pimas had been kind enough to kill an antelope that day, and as they had only eaten of it once, we had a feast that morning, which we enjoyed very much.
We gathered up the guns and ammunition that belonged to the Indians, which, by the way, was the best armed lot of Indians I had ever seen. Each one of them had a good rifle and a Colt revolver, and one of them had the handsomest knife I ever saw. Had we not run on to them no doubt they would have done some devilment in the white settlement the following day. We reached headquarters in three days.
It was now time for the emigrants to begin to travel over the Butterfield route, and Lieut. Jackson started one company of cavalry across to the opposite side of the mountain some sixty miles away to protect the emigrants, and George Jones and I both accompanied them. We established our quarters about a half mile from the road at the foot of the mountains on the south side.
The next day after we struck this place George and I started out to scout over the country to see whether or not there were any Indians in the country and also ride out on the road and look for emigrants.
The second day out we climbed to the top of a high ridge, and by looking through the glass we could see a large emigrant train coming, which we thought to be about twenty miles distant. We knew very well where it would camp, and by riding briskly we would be able to meet it by dark; so we rode on and reached the emigrants about sunset. They were just corralling their wagons for the night, and when they saw us coming they took us for Indians and every man went for his gun. As soon as we saw them start for their guns we both took off our hats and waved them over our heads, when they saw that they were needlessly alarmed. This train was from Texas, and the name of the captain was Sours, and it was beyond doubt the best organized train I ever saw on the plains; everything seemed to move like clock work.
When I told Capt. Sours who we were and what our business was and that as soon as they got to our quarters they would have an escort, he said: "I am indeed very glad to know that there is some protection out here for emigrants, but as for ourselves we do not need it much, for every man in my train has seven shots, and some of them three times that number."
We stayed with them that night and the next morning pulled out for our quarters. We remained there for a month, but did not see any Indians during that time.
At the end of the month there came along a large train from Arkansas and Texas. We escorted it across the mountains expecting that this would wind up the emigrant travel across there for the season. When we arrived at Lieut. Jackson's quarters he started George and I and two other scouts out towards the Salt river valley settlement, telling me that he would move down near Mrs. Davis' ranch and there he would wait until he should hear from me. The third day out we made camp early on account of water, and after deciding on the spot where we should pitch our camp for the night George rode off to a high ridge near by to take a look over the country. He was not gone long before he made his appearance riding at full speed, and announced that there was a large band of Indians coming direct for our camp, and would be on to us before we could saddle up and get away.
"Get your horses boys," were his first words, and every man made a rush for his horse, but before we could get saddled the Indians hove in sight, and not over half a mile away.
"There they are," said George as he jumped on to his horse again, "and there must be at least sixty of them."
I was not long in making up my mind what to do. We all got our horses saddled and were mounted just in the nick of time to get away for we were not twenty yards from camp when they were close on to us.
Down the ravine we went with the Apaches in hot pursuit of us. I yelled out to the boys to turn to the left across the ridge and when we were over the turn we stopped and gave them a volley, and picked off the leaders as they came in sight. I saw a number of them fall, but it did not appear to check them in the least. They were coming too thick and we wheeled and were off again with some of them within at least thirty yards of us, but we gained on them gradually. Finally George Jones sang out: "I am shot through the arm." I reined my horse up by his side and asked if his arm was broken. He said it was, and I could see it was hanging down and the blood almost streaming off his fingers. I asked if he felt sick, and he said he did not.
Of course all the time this conversation was going on we were putting our horses down to their utmost. George said; "I am all right if I don't get another shot," so I told him to take the lead and not to spare his horse. I also told the other boys to fall back to the rear so we could protect him, as he was badly wounded and the Indians were holding their own pretty well.
On looking ahead I saw another little ridge and I told the boys that when we were over that to all turn and give them two shots each, and for each to be sure to get his Indian. This order was carried into effect and they were so near us that I think each shot did its work. This brought them to a halt and they did not crowd us any more; it was soon dark and we escaped without any further mishap.
After we could hear no more of them we rode to the top of a ridge where we would have a chance to protect ourselves in case of another attack, and dismounted to ascertain the extent of George's wound, and as the excitement died down he commenced feeling sick at his stomach. I gave him a drink of whiskey from a bottle that I had carried in my canteen at all seasons, and this was the second time the cork had been drawn from the flask. When we got his coat off and examined his wound we found that the arm was broken just below the elbow. Using our handkerchiefs for bandages, we dressed the hurt as best we could, corded his arm to stop the flow of blood and then pulled out for headquarters, arriving there just at daybreak.
I took George to the surgeon, who set the bone and dressed the arm up "ship shape," after which he gave him something to make him sleep.
After seeing George in bed I at once repaired to the Lieutenant's quarters and found him just arising. He asked me if I was too tired to make another chase, and I told him I would be ready as soon as I could eat my breakfast. He said in one hour's time he would have two companies of cavalry ready to start.
After breakfast I changed horses, and taking four other scouts, started out to pilot the cavalry to where we could take the trail of the Indians. On this trip each scout took four days' rations, and about one o'clock that afternoon we struck a plain trail that we followed at a lively gait until nearly dark; the scout force riding from one to two miles ahead so in case we should get in sight of the reds we could telegraph back to the command, or should the Indians attempt to give us another chase we might be able to run them up against the soldiers, where they would find amusement for a while.
We followed them for two days but never got sight of them. They had turned and made their way back in the direction of Black canyon and we gave up the chase, but we were sure that in the running fight we had with them that evening we had killed at least thirteen, as we found that many newly made graves when we went back to take their trail.
We returned to headquarters and I found George doing splendidly, and the next day we all pulled out for Fort Yuma. The first day's travel took us to Mrs. Davis' This was the first time I had seen her or any of her family since the next day after the funeral of her husband and two sons in the fall of 1866.
Mrs. Davis insisted on George staying there with them until his arm was well, which kind and hospitable offer he accepted, remaining two months. We put in our time that winter as usual when wintering at the fort, doing nothing.
"WE ARE ALL SURROUNDED."—A BOLD DASH AND A BAD WOUND—MRS. DAVIS SHOWS HER GRATITUDE.—THE MOST OF MY WORK NOW DONE ON CRUTCHES.
It was the last of February or first of March, 1876, that we started for St. Louis Valley. I had visited this valley twice, but had come in both times from the opposite direction to which we would have to enter the valley in going from camp, consequently I was at a loss to know just which direction to go from camp to strike the valley where we wanted to enter it, but we struck out southeast, taking twenty days' provisions with us. The ninth day out we came in sight of the valley from the west side. It being about noon, water being handy and no end to the grass, we stopped there for dinner and to let our horses graze After I had taken a squint through my glasses, I called the Lieutenant to me and handed them to him.
He sat and looked for a long time, and when he took the glasses from his eyes he said: "That is beyond any doubt the prettiest sight I ever saw in my life." There were small bands of bison scattered here and there all over the valley, elk by the hundreds and deer too numerous to mention, but not an Indian nor even a sign of one could be seen in this lovely valley.
"I have made this trip unnecessarily," said he, "for I had expected to find many little bands of Indians in this valley hunting, but in that I am disappointed." We then turned back for headquarters as quick as possible, making the entire trip without seeing an Indian or even a sign of one.
Some time in June the Lieutenant started out in command of two companies of cavalry to cross the mountains to protect the emigrants, George Jones and I ahead with four assistants.
The Lieutenant having told us where he would camp that night, it was the duty of the scouts to make a circuit of the camp before dark. On arriving at the appointed place, George and I started to make a tour of the camp, leaving the other scouts at the camping place. It was about sunset when we saw a band of Indians as we supposed about four miles from where we were to camp that night, and about one mile and a half from where we then were. We put spurs to our horses and headed for the Indian camp, as we were desirous of ascertaining about their number and getting the location of the ground before it was too dark. When we were within about a quarter of a mile, it being nearly dark, we were just in the act of tying our horses, intending to crawl up near their camp, we heard a rumbling noise back in the direction from which we had just come. I crawled quickly around the hill and saw another band of Indians coming directly toward us, who were making their way as we supposed to where the other Indians were camped. I got back to my horse in less time than it took me to crawl away from him, then we mounted and got away as we supposed, undiscovered, and rode up a ravine and in a direction that we would not be seen by the Indians. Not thinking ourselves in any immediate danger, we did not hurry. After riding up the ravine only a short distance, just as we rounded a curve, we were brought face to face with another band of Indians. This was, I think, a small band that had left the main band to hunt for game and were just getting into camp, but we did not make any inquiries as to what success they had in hunting, nor did we ask whether they had been hunting at all.
The moment we saw them we drew our pistols and commenced firing, and they returned the fire. We were almost entirely surrounded by Indians, and I saw that it was no place for me, so I sang out to George: "Let's breakthrough their ranks." "All right," said he, and we drove the spurs into our horses with all vengeance, riding about fifteen feet apart and succeeding in getting through unhurt, and away we rode for quarters, closely followed by the redskins Now we thought we were safe, and each in his own mind was congratulating himself, when a ball struck me in the left hip which paralyzed my whole side and wrecked my whole nervous system. I sang out to George to drop behind and whip my horse, for now I had no use whatever of my left leg, and it took all the strength in my right leg to hang on to the horse. No quicker said than he was behind my horse and doing all in his power to urge him, and telling me for God's sake to hang on a little longer.
The soldiers had just rode into camp and were dismounting when they heard our firing, and remounted and started in that direction, but as it was getting dark and the country strange to them they could not make very good time. They met us about half way between the camp and the Indians, the reds still in hot pursuit of us. The Lieutenant ordered a charge, and he had his men so trained that when he said charge they did not stop shooting as long as there was an Indian to shoot at.
By this time I was so sick that George had to help me off my horse, and leaving two men with me, he went on after, and overhauled the command before they got to the Indian camp, where they found the Indians ready for battle, and here I think the Lieutenant got the worst of the fight, for when he made the attack the Indians attacked him in the rear. The men had to carry me in their arms to camp, as they had no stretchers in the outfit, and there I lay four weeks before an ambulance came. I was then removed to Fort Yuma. George Jones took charge of the scout force after I was wounded.
I told George then that if I should be fortunate enough to get over my wound I would quit the business for all time. After remaining in the hospital at the fort about two months I was able to get around on crutches. Mrs. Davis having heard of my misfortune, came over in company with her brother to see how I was getting along, and insisted on my going home with them and remaining until such time as I could ride on horseback, which kind offer I accepted, with the consent of the doctor, he giving me a supply of medicine sufficient to last me several weeks.
I remained there until after Christmas, when George came after me, and by this time I was able to walk with a cane. I then returned to Fort Yuma, having made up my mind to draw my pay and quit the business.
George also being tired of this kind of life, had concluded to return to his home in Oregon. When I made our intentions known to Gen. Crook he asked me how I would ever be able to get to civilization, for the mail was yet carried on horseback and I was not able to ride in that way. He insisted on my remaining with him the coming season, and if I should not be able to ride I could stay in camp and give orders to the other scouts. I asked George what he thought of the matter, and he said: "I will leave the matter with you, if you stay another season I will, or if you say leave I will quit also." However, we decided after talking matters over to stay there one more season, and that would end our scouting career, both vowing that we would quit after that, and in our contract this time with the General we agreed to stay until the coming January, and George and I were to have two-thirds of all the property captured during this campaign.
POOR JONES MAKES HIS LAST FIGHT.—HE DIED AMONG A LOT OF THE DEVILS HE HAD SLAIN.—END OF THIRTY-ONE YEARS OF HUNTING, TRAPPING AND SCOUTING.
About the first day in March, 1877, we started out on our summer's campaign. I was now able to mount a horse by being assisted, but had to be very careful and only ride a short distance, and very slow at that. The third day on our trip from the fort George reported having seen the trail of quite a large band of Indians traveling westward almost parallel with the road, but said they had passed about two days before. I asked the Lieutenant to give me his camping places that night and the next one, which he did. I then told George to select four men from the scout force, take two days' rations and see if he could run down the Indians and to telegraph me when they changed their course or when he had them located.
George was on their trail before noon and before sunset he had them located, only a short distance from the place where I had been wounded the year before. I got a dispatch from him just as I was ready to turn in for the night, and by one o'clock I received another dispatch stating that there were about eighty in the band, and well armed, and among them about twenty squaws and their children. This was something we had never seen among the Apaches before. Lieut. Jackson asked my opinion of their having their families with them. I told him I thought they must be on their way to Sonora to trade, as at that time the Apaches had never traded but very little with the whites.
They might be out for a hunt, but it was not customary when on such a trip to have their families with them. Upon the receipt of the second dispatch from George, Lieut. Jackson started out with three companies of cavalry, and arrived at the spot near daybreak. I was told afterwards that George had been crawling around all night getting the location of the Indians, the general lay of the ground and to ascertain the best plan of attack, knowing it would be so late by the time the Lieutenant would arrive that he himself would have no time to spare, and he had a diagram drawn on a piece of envelope of the camp and surroundings, also had their horses located. When the Lieutenant was ready to make the attack George took four of the scouts and started to cut the horses off and prevent the Indians from getting to them, but it seemed as though when the cavalry started to make the charge the Indians' dogs had given the alarm and a part of the Indians had made for their horses. At any rate when daylight came George was found some two hundred yards from the Indian encampment, with both legs broken and a bullet through his neck, which had broken it and four Indians lying near him dead, which he no doubt had killed, and his horse lay dead about a rod from where he lay. No one had seen him fall nor had heard a word from him after he gave the order to charge for the horses. About the middle of that afternoon they returned to camp with George's body and seven others that were killed, and nineteen wounded soldiers. They had killed thirty- seven Indians and had taken all the squaws and children prisoners. After I had looked at the body of that once noble and brave form, but now a lifeless corpse, I told the Lieutenant that I was ready to leave the field, for there was not a man in the entire army that could fill his place, and without at least one reliable man in the field it would be impossible to accomplish anything.
The dead were buried about two hundred yards north of the spring where we had camped, and I saw that George Jones was put away in the best and most respectable manner possible considering the circumstances by which we were governed at that time. We buried him entirely alone, near a yellow pine tree, and at his head we placed a rude pine board, dressed in as good a shape as could be done with such tools as were accessible to our use. On this board his name was engraved, also his age and the manner in which he came to his death, and the same is also to be seen on the yellow pine tree that stands near the grave of this once noble friend and hero of the plains.
My brave and noble comrade, You have served your country true, Your trials and troubles are ended And you have bade this world adieu.
You have been a noble companion, Once so trusty, true and brave; But now your cold and lifeless form Lies silent in the grave.
While your form remains here with us In this wicked dismal land, Your soul has crossed the river And joined the angel band.
The prisoners that were taken here Lieut. Jackson sent to Fort Yuma and placed under guard, as Gen. Crook had made up his mind to capture all the Apaches he could and try in that way to civilize them, but he made a total failure in regard to this particular tribe of Indians.
I informed George's father and mother of his death as soon as I could get a letter to them, telling them as soon as I returned to the fort I would draw his pay and send it to them, which I did. When I talked to Lieut. Jackson of quitting he said he could not spare me until the summer's campaign was over, so I remained with him.
We moved on and established our quarters at the same place as the year before, and a more lonesome summer I never put in anywhere than there. I was not able to do anything more than stay in camp and give orders until late in the season. Lieut. Jackson had two more engagements that season, but I was not able to be in either of them.
The first one the soldiers killed nine Indians, and the other time the Indians made an attack on him while he, with twenty of his men, were escorting an emigrant train across the mountains. In this engagement the Lieutenant did not lose a man, and only three horses, and killed twenty-three Indians and gave them a chase of about ten miles.
It was now getting late in the fall and Lieut. Jackson pulled out for the fort, and by that time I was just able to climb on my horse without assistance. We arrived at Fort Yuma about the first of November, and there I remained till the first of June, 1878.
Before I left I made Mrs. Davis and her family a farewell visit. Two of her daughters were then married and lived near their mother, and all seemed to be in a prosperous condition. After a pleasant visit with the Davis folks I returned to the fort and commenced making preparations to leave, but was delayed in starting at least a month on account of some soldiers who had served their time out and were going to return with me. I told my old friend Lieut. Jackson the day before starting that I did not think that there was another white man in the United States that had seen less of civilization or more of Indian warfare than I had, it now being just thirty-one years since I started out with Uncle Kit Carson onto the plains and into the mountains.
When I left the fort this time it was with the determination that I would not go into the scouting field again, and I have kept my word so far, and think I shall thus continue. I started out from the fort with twenty-three head of horses, and I packed the baggage of the four discharged soldiers in order to get them to help me with my loose horses.
A GRIZZLEY HUNTS THE HUNTER.—SHOOTING SEALS IN ALASKAN WATERS.—I BECOME A SEATTLE HOTEL KEEPER AND THE BIG FIRE CLOSES ME OUT.— SOME REST.
On my arrival at San Francisco the first thing was to get rid of my surplus horses. During the time I was selling them I made the acquaintance of a man named Walter Fiske, who was engaged in raising Angora goats, about one hundred and twenty miles north from San Francisco, and who was something of a hunter also. Mr. Fiske invited me to go home with him and have a bear hunt.
Being tired of the city, I accompanied Mr. Fiske to his ranch. He said he knew where there was a patch of wild clover on which the grizzlies fed, so we were off for a bear hunt. We soon found where they fed and watered. They had a plain trail from their feeding place to the water. Mr. Fiske being hard of hearing proposed that I stop on the feeding ground and he would take his stand down on the trail, and in case I should get into trouble I could run down the trail, and if he were to get into a tight place he would run up the trail to where I was. I took my stand and had not been there long until I saw, just behind, in about twenty feet of me, a huge grizzly bear coming for me on his hind feet. I did not see a tree that I could get behind or climb, so I took out along the trail as fast as I could, the grizzly after me. For the first fifty yards I had to run up grade and then I turned down hill. When I reached the top of the hill I commenced to hallo at the top of my voice, "Look out Walter, we are coming!" Walter was sitting only a few steps from the trail and the moment I passed him I heard the report of his gun. I jumped to one side and gave the bear a shot. I got in two shots and Fiske four. After receiving this amount of lead the bear ran but a short distance and dropped dead. All of the shots were near the bear's heart. We dressed him and started home and we had bear meat enough to last for some time to come. In the mean time Mr. Fiske had told me about a man four miles from, his place who had a ranch for sale, consisting of three hundred and twenty acres of deeded land, one hundred acres in cultivation, eighty bearing fruit trees and two acres of a vineyard. He said the place could be bought cheap, and he also told me that there was a vacant quarter section adjoining this land that I could take up, and I would have the finest goat ranch in the country. Mr. Fiske and I took a trip down and found the owner very anxious to sell. After looking the ranch over and getting his figures, I made him an offer of four thousand dollars for everything, which offer he accepted, he reserving nothing but one span of horses, his bed and clothing. We then went to Santa Rosa, the county seat, to get an abstract of title and a deed to the property, and now I am once more an honest rancher. While in Santa Rosa I hired a man and his wife by the name of Benson, by the year. Mr. Benson proved to be a good man and his wife a splendid housekeeper. All went well for about five months, and having filed on the quarter of vacant land adjoining me, of course I had to move over there. I had noticed a change in Benson's appearance, but had not thought much about it till one Saturday I sent him to haul some pickets over to my preemption claim. That night, having company, I did not go to the cabin on the claim, but stayed on the other place. Benson was not at supper that evening, but I paid no attention to it nor thought it strange, supposing he was just a little late getting home. The next morning I noticed that he was not at the breakfast table, and I asked Mrs. Benson why Mr. Bensen didn't come to his breakfast. She asked if I had not told him to stay on the preemption claim that night. I told her that I had not and that I had the key and he could not get into the house, and besides there was no feed there for the mules. She commenced to feel uneasy then. So as soon as breakfast was over I took one of my hired men and started out to hunt for him. We struck the wagon trail and tracked him around for some time. He had traveled in a terribly round about way. We finally came to him where he had run his team against a tree, and when we came upon him he was down in front of the mules whipping them around the fore legs trying to make them get down and pray. He did not notice us until I spoke to him and told him to quit whipping the mules. When he looked at me I could see that he was perfectly wild. It took us both three hours to get him back to the house. I sent for the constable, who took him to Santa Rosa and from there he was taken to the insane asylum. His wife went East to her folks, and I was told afterwards that he got all right.
I next tried a Chinese housekeeper, but John Chinaman had too many relations in the country. There would be two or three Chinamen there almost every week to see my cook and would stay one or two nights. It was not what they ate that I cared for, but what they carried off.
I tried ranching there for three years and during that time I had three different men with their wives, but there was always something wrong, too far from church or too far from neighbors, so I came to the conclusion that a man had no use with a ranch unless he had a wife. In the mean time I had proved up on my preemption, and had all my land fenced in with a picket fence made of red wood pickets. I had also got sick and tired of ranching, not but what I had done fairly well, but it was too much bother for a man that had been raised as I had. I went to San Francisco and placed my land in the hands of a real estate agent for sale, and it was but a short time when he sent two men out to look at it. This was the fall of the year when my fruit was just beautiful and the grapes ripe in the vineyard, and we were not long in making a trade.
In less than one month I was without a house or home, so I placed my money in the bank and arranged to get my interest semi- annually, and made up my mind to take things easy the balance of my days.
About one year from that time I succeeded in getting up a hunting party, and we went up into the mountains in Mendocino county, where we found game in abundance, deer, elk and bear. I stayed out in the mountains nearly three months, during which time I killed the largest grizzly bear I have ever seen, weighing net, eight hundred and sixty pounds. This bear I killed at one shot, and it is the only grizzly that I ever killed at one shot in all my hunting. We also killed ten large elk. One man in the party killed an elk that the horns measured from tip to tip, five feet and four inches, and those horns can be seen at the Lick House in San Francisco. He sold them for fifty dollars.
I remained in San Francisco until in the spring of 1886, when there was a party fitting up a schooner to go sealing on the coast of Alaska, and I was offered a job as shooter. I agreed to go with them and they were to pay me two dollars for each seal that I killed. The first of April we started, and were twenty-two days getting to where there was seal.
Now this was a new business to me, and my first seal hunting was near the mouth of the Yukon river. The captain anchored about twenty miles from land. There were six sealing boats with the schooner, the shooter had charge of his boat, and there were two or three other men to accompany him. One of my boatmen was a Frenchman and the other a German; they were both stout and willing to work. While I received two dollars a piece for all the seals killed, they only got one dollar each, making in all four dollars each that the seals cost the company.
In the morning the captain gives each man his course and instructions to return at once when the signal cannon is fired. The first morning that we started out we went about four miles before we saw any seal, when we ran on to a school sleeping on the water. The two boatmen pulled up among them and I turned loose to shooting them and got six out of the outfit before they got away from us. Shooting seal out of a boat reminded me very much of shooting Indians when on a bucking cayuse, as the boat is always in motion, and it is all that a person can do to stand up in it when the sea is any ways rough. That day I killed nine seal and we were called in at two o'clock, as there was fog coming up, and we just got in ahead of it. We had fair success sealing until the last of August, when my crew ventured a little too far and the wind changed so that we did not hear the cannon and the fog caught us. Each crew when starting out in the morning always took supplies along sufficient to last twenty-four hours. This time when we got caught in the fog the wind had changed on us, so we tried to remain as near the same place as possible, but this time we had to guess at it as we could not always tell just which way the tide was going. This was beyond any doubt the worst trip that I ever experienced, the fog was very cold and our clothing wet. We were out three days and nights and then were picked up by another schooner. The captain of the schooner that picked us up heard the firing of our cannon that morning and we were picked up about noon. He at once set sail for our schooner, firing the signal cannon every half hour, reaching our schooner just as it was growing dark, and the captain and crew had given us up for lost. We stayed out until the last of September, when we sailed for San Francisco, and this wound up my seal hunting.
There was only one other man in the crew that killed more seal than I did during the season, but I made the largest day's killing of any one in the crew, that being twenty seven. But one season was enough for me in that line of business. I concluded that I would much rather take my chances on dry land.
In the spring of 1887 I took a trip to the Puget Sound country and found Seattle a very lively place; in fact, as much so as any place I had ever seen in my life. After remaining in Seattle about two months I concluded that I would try my hand at the hotel business, as that was something I had not tried, so I bought out a man named Smith, who owned a big hotel on the corner of South second and Washington streets, just opposite John Court's Theatre Building, paying Mr. Smith sixteen thousand dollars for the property, and besides this I spent one thousand two hundred dollars in repairing and fitting it up in shape. I gave it the name of "Riverside House." Here I built up a good business in the hotel line. In fact, inside of six months from the time I opened up I had all that I could accommodate all the time, and this was the first time in my life that I had been perfectly satisfied.
I had all the business I could attend to, and was making money, and as fast as I could accumulate a little money I invested it in different parts of the city in good property.
In the month of May, 1889, two brothers named Clark, from Chicago, came to my hotel for the purpose of buying me out, but I told them my property was not for sale, as I was satisfied and liked the business and did not think I could find a place that would suit me better; but about the first of June they returned and made me an offer of twenty thousand dollars. I told them that I would not sell at any price, as I was satisfied and intended to remain there as long as I lived. On the morning of the sixth of June, 1889, my clerk came to my room and woke me up, saying that there was a fire in the northern part of town and that the wind was blowing strong from that direction. I dressed at once, and when I got out on the street I could see the fire about a half mile from my property, but had not the faintest idea that it would ever reach me, although the excitement was running high on the street. I returned to the hotel, washed, and was just eating my breakfast when one of the waiters came and told me that he could see the fire from the door. I told him he must be mistaken, but he went and looked again and came back and told me that the fire was getting very close. I ran to the door and saw that it was then within one block of my hotel. Now I saw that my property was sure to be burnt, so I sent my clerk up stairs to see whether or not there were any lodgers in the rooms, and I made a rush for the safe and only just had time to get it unlocked and the contents out when the fire was on us.
That fire wiped me out slick and clean as I did not have a dollar's worth of insurance on the property. Any business man would have known enough at least to have a few thousand dollars of insurance on that amount of property, but I had never seen a fire before in a city and thought it folly to insure, and did not find out my mistake until it was too late. During the next six months I had a number of offers of money to build a brick hotel on my lots, but I could not think for a moment of borrowing the money for that purpose.
I remained in Seattle for nine months, during which time there was a great decrease in the value of property, and I sold my lots where my hotel had stood at a very reduced price. I tried various speculations on a small scale during this time, but with very poor success.
By this time I had spent and lost in speculation about all the money that I had realized for my property, and the outside property that I owned I could not sell at any price. Since that time I have wandered around from pillar to post, catching a little job here and there, and at this writing I am temporarily located at Moscow, Idaho, which is situated in the heart of the famous Palouse country, one of the greatest countries on the globe for the growing of wheat, oats, barley, rye, flax and vegetables of all kinds.
And now kind reader, begging your pardon, I would say that I have been two years making up my mind to allow my life to go down in history to be read by the public, as notoriety is something I never cared for. One reason, perhaps, is that I was brought up by noble and generous-hearted Kit Carson, who very much disliked notoriety, and I do not believe that there ever was a son who thought more of his father than I did of that high-minded and excellent man.
I have had many opportunities to have the history of my life written up, but would never consent to anything of the kind. Finally, however, I decided to write it myself, and while it is written in very rude and unpolished language, by an old frontiersman who never went to school a day in his life, all he knows he picked up himself, yet it is the true history of the most striking events, trials, troubles, tribulations, hardships, pleasures and satisfactions of a long life of strange adventure among wild scenes and wilder people, and in telling the story I hope I have interested the reader.
It is not strange that in the wilderness, where all nature sings, from the fairy tinkle of the falling snow to the boom of a storm- swept canyon; and from the warbling of the birds to the roaring growl of mad grizzlies; and from the whispers of lost breezes to thunder of thousands of stampeding hoofs—it is not strange that among all that, even a worn and illiterate old hunter should try to sing, if nothing more than the same sort of a song that the dying sachem sings. So I beg you bear with
THE OLD SCOUT'S LAMENT.
Come all of you, my brother scouts, And join me in my song; Come, let us sing together, Though the shadows fall so long.
Of all the old frontiersmen, That used to scour the plain, There are but very few of them That with us yet remain.
Day after day, they're dropping off; They are going, one by one; Our clan is fast decreasing; Our race is almost run.
There were many of our number That never wore the blue, But, faithfully, they did their part, As brave men, tried and true.
They never joined the army, But had other work to do In piloting the coming folks, To help them safely through.
But brothers, we are failing; Our race is almost run; The days of elk and buffalo, And beaver traps, are gone.
Oh, the days of elk and buffalo, It fills my heart with pain To know those days are passed and gone, To never come again.
We fought the red-skin rascals Over valley, hill and plain, We fought him in the mountain top, And fought him down again.
Those fighting days are over; The Indian yell resounds No more along the border, Peace sends far sweeter sounds
But we found great joy, old comrades, To hear and make it die, We won bright homes for gentle ones, And now, our West, good-bye