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Resolve to Buy a Horse—Horsemanship in Carson—A Temptation—Advice Given Me Freely—I Buy the Mexican Plug—My First Ride—A Good Bucker—I Loan the Plug—Experience of Borrowers—Attempts to Sell—Expense of the Experiment—A Stranger Taken In CHAPTER XXV. If I had had a horse worth a cent—but no, the minute he saw that buffalo bull wheel on him and give a bellow, he raised straight up in the air and stood on his heels.The Mormons in Nevada—How to Persuade a Loan from Them—Early History of the Territory—Silver Mines Discovered—The New Territorial Government—A Foreign One and a Poor One—Its Funny Struggles for Existence—No Credit, no Cash—Old Abe Currey Sustains it and its Officers—Instructions and Vouchers—An Indian’s Endorsement—Toll-Gates CHAPTER XXVI. The saddle began to slip, and I took him round the neck and laid close to him, and began to pray.
Overland City—Crossing the Platte—Bemis’s Buffalo Hunt—Assault by a Buffalo—Bemis’s Horse Goes Crazy—An Impromptu Circus—A New Departure—Bemis Finds Refuge in a Tree—Escapes Finally by a Wonderful Method CHAPTER VIII. This reminds me of an incident of Palestine travel which is pertinent here, so I will transfer it just in the language in which I find it set down in my Holy Land note-book: No doubt everybody has heard of Ben Holliday—a man of prodigious energy, who used to send mails and passengers flying across the continent in his overland stage-coaches like a very whirlwind—two thousand long miles in fifteen days and a half, by the watch!
The Pony Express—Fifty Miles Without Stopping—“Here he Comes”—Alkali Water—Riding an Avalanche—Indian Massacre CHAPTER IX. But this fragment of history is not about Ben Holliday, but about a young New York boy by the name of Jack, who traveled with our small party of pilgrims in the Holy Land (and who had traveled to California in Mr.
This book is merely a personal narrative, and not a pretentious history or a philosophical dissertation. We took a new driver every day or every night (for they drove backward and forward over the same piece of road all the time), and therefore we never got as well acquainted with them as we did with the conductors; and besides, they would have been above being familiar with such rubbish as passengers, anyhow, as a general thing.
It is a record of several years of variegated vagabondizing, and its object is rather to help the resting reader while away an idle hour than afflict him with metaphysics, or goad him with science. Still, we were always eager to get a sight of each and every new driver as soon as the watch changed, for each and every day we were either anxious to get rid of an unpleasant one, or loath to part with a driver we had learned to like and had come to be sociable and friendly with.
Still, there is information in the volume; information concerning an interesting episode in the history of the Far West, about which no books have been written by persons who were on the ground in person, and saw the happenings of the time with their own eyes. And so the first question we asked the conductor whenever we got to where we were to exchange drivers, was always, “Which is him?
I allude to the rise, growth and culmination of the silver-mining fever in Nevada—a curious episode, in some respects; the only one, of its peculiar kind, that has occurred in the land; and the only one, indeed, that is likely to occur in it. ” The grammar was faulty, maybe, but we could not know, then, that it would go into a book some day.
The Guests at “Honey Lake Smith’s”—“Bully Old Arkansas”—“Our Landlord"- -Determined to Fight—The Landlord’s Wife—The Bully Conquered by Her—Another Start—Crossing the Carson—A Narrow Escape—Following Our Own Track—A New Guide—Lost in the Snow CHAPTER XXXII. “And then you ought to have seen that spider legged old skeleton go! It fell in the tree when it came down.” “Oh—exactly.” “Certainly.
Desperate Situation—Attempts to Make a Fire—Our Horses leave us—We Find Matches—One, Two, Three and the Last—No Fire—Death Seems Inevitable—We Mourn Over Our Evil Lives—Discarded Vices—We Forgive Each Other—An Affectionate Farewell—The Sleep of Oblivion CHAPTER XXXIII. and you ought to have seen the bull cut out after him, too—head down, tongue out, tail up, bellowing like everything, and actually mowing down the weeds, and tearing up the earth, and boosting up the sand like a whirlwind! I and the saddle were back on the rump, and I had the bridle in my teeth and holding on to the pommel with both hands. I unwound the lariat, and fastened one end of it to the limb.
Three Sides to all Questions—Everything “A Quarter”—Shriveled Up—Emigrants and White Shirts at a Discount—“Forty-Niners”—Above Par—Real Happiness CHAPTER XVIII. The reason we had an hour to spare was because we had to change our stage (for a less sumptuous affair, called a “mud-wagon”) and transfer our freight of mails. We came to the shallow, yellow, muddy South Platte, with its low banks and its scattering flat sand-bars and pigmy islands—a melancholy stream straggling through the centre of the enormous flat plain, and only saved from being impossible to find with the naked eye by its sentinel rank of scattering trees standing on either bank.
Alkali Desert—Romance of Crossing Dispelled—Alkali Dust—Effect on the Mules—Universal Thanksgiving CHAPTER XIX. The Platte was “up,” they said—which made me wish I could see it when it was down, if it could look any sicker and sorrier.