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than the rest, will dash off in a straight line, the rest scampering after him, and apparently gathering fresh fears at every jump. The throng will then sweep along the plain, with a noise which may be likened to something between a tornado and an earthquake, and as well might feeble man attempt to arrest either of the latter. Were the earth rending and cleaving beneath their feet, horses, when under the terrifying influences of a stampede, could not bound away with greater velocity or more majestic beauty of movement. I have seen many an interesting race, but never any thing hall so exciting as the flight of a drove of frightened horses. * No simile can give the reader a fair conception of the grandeur of the spectacle, and the most graphic arrangemeut of words must fall far short in describing the startling and imposing effects of a regular stampede."
[Vol. I., pp. 97-8. One month's journey brought the party to the limits of "The Cross Timbers,” an immense natural hedge, dividing the woodlands of the settled portion of the United States, from the open prairies, which have ever been the home and hunting ground of the red man."
Before reaching this natural boundary, they encountered numerous herds of buffaloes. Many had been taken, and afforded delicious fare. Deer had also supplied much sport to the hunters, and venison varied the repasts served up in the woodland manner already described. They suffered severely at times from want of water, and when we read of some of them returning, on one occasion, two miles, to obtain a draught of it, we can estimate the value of what, to them, was a luxury indeed, more precious than the costly wines of the epicure, or the cooling beverage that the citizen craves in the sultry season.
The author describes himself as at one time separated from the company, and cast upon the boundless prairie-a position by no means enviable. Such a sameness pervades the solitude, such a calm sea of uncertainty surrounds the lost wanderer, that no wonder feelings unutterable, anxiety indescribable, should take possession of his mind. Far away from the abodes of civilized man, after wandering for hours, perhaps, to return to the very starting point; starvation or the Indian's tomahawk, presenting itself ever vividly to the imagination ; sweet home and friends never more to be seen ; regret, grief, and despair come knocking at the heart, and soon, even presence of mind forsakes the doomed and unhappy fugitive.
The pursuit of an officer after a man mistaken for an Indian; the sudden surprise when the fact becomes known;
the terrible apprehension of the pursued, and the fearful proximity of the pursuer, bearing in his hand the deadly weapon, is a truly artistic picture, nor less painfully interesting when the result attending the fright is afterwards unfolded-no less than death itself to the unfortunate soldier. Nor is the scene where the buffalo is pursued by the Indian hunter, less interesting. He pursues his prey even into the camp of his deadly foe. The buffalo is before his eager eyes. He is lost if he turns not his steed, yet he rushes blindly on, as blindly as the hunted beast. It is a stirring sport, and akin to war in its wild excitement.
Owing to a mistake and misdirection of the guides, it was soon discovered that the company had wandered from the true course. One of the party, a Mexican, pretended to know where they were, and implicit confidence was placed in his guidance.' And now commenced the troubles and difficulties which never ceased to attend the expedition, until its members found themselves in the Mexican prisons. They became inextricably lost in the wilderness. They susfered from hunger, thirst and the incursions of Indians, who seized on every opportunity to cut off stragglers from the lines, or to steal their horses. The treachery or false. hood of Carlos, their guide, having been at length discovered, the fellow suddenly disappeared from the company, and was not again heard from, until the eve of their arrival in the vicinity of San Miguel.
Sometimes a glance of sunshine brightened the path of the wanderers, and gave a tinge of romance to the scenes around them.
“We were awakened early next morning by the warbling of innumerable singing birds, perched upon the bushes along the borders of the stream. Among the notes, I recognized those of the robin, the lark, and the blue bird, and, as it was the first time any of them had been seen since the commencement of our journey, thoughts of home, and civilization came fresh to the hearts here among the western wilds. How these birds strayed so far from their usual haunts, for they are seldom found except in the immediate vicinity of settlements, is more than I can imagine. There they were, however, telling of scenes to which we had long been strangers, and giving us pleasing but fallacious promises of a speedy return to the abodes of at least semi-civilization. In our fond imaginings, they typified the dove, telling us that the wilderness had been past; but, alas! their song, l!ke the siren's, was uttered but to deceive." - Vol. I.,
They passed, in their route, an Indian village, which is described as the home of a people considerably in advance of the generality of Indian tribes in America. Many objects of curiosity excited their attention, and we have accounts given of the customs of the Camanches and Cagüas both novel and interesting.
It was finally deemed advisable to divide the companya portion of the best mounted being selected to go forward and discover, if possible, the nearest route to the settlements : our author was one of this party, consisting of nearly one hundred persons. A toilsome march awaited them. A mountain crossed their path, which they climbed with incredible labor, and on the further side of it, a prospect was presented, which, in some degree, compensated for the toils of the ascent :
"It was a lovely scene, beheld from the spot where we stood. Softened down by the distance, there was a tranquility about it, which seemed as though it never had been broken. The deep green skirtings of the different water-courses relieved the eye as it fell upon the wide-extending plain. The silver waters of the Quintusue, now reduced apparently to a mere thread, were occasionally brought to view, as some turn of the stream threw them in line with us, and again they were lost to the sight under the rich foliage of the banks. The white tops of the wagons showed the present encampment of our main body, while the small black spots gave us the pleasing assurance that the cattle and horses were still there, and that the camp
had been unmolested. In other parts of the valley, too, small moving specs were seen, mustangs, or perhaps our Indian enemies, prowling about, but, other than these, no living objects met our gaze. Almost the whole valley was bordered by yawning chasms that had impeded the progress of our wagons, now brought more plainly to view by the elevation on which we stood; and the whole scene forcibly reminded me of one of Salvator Rosa's beautiful landscapes, framed with rough gnarled and unfinished oak."— Vol. I., pp. 216-17.
The mountain having been passed, chasm upon chasm obstructed their progress—some of them several hundred feet in depth-which were crossed with infinite labor and difficulty. These are described as presenting features of remarkable grandeur and sublimity. Their sufferings from want of food, during this last part of their journey, were intense. Nothing was deemed unfit to eat, even what, at other times, they would have shrunk from as utterly loathsome. They at last reached a clear and beautiful stream in a secluded valley, which supplied the almost famished way
farers with fish. These, even without salt or bread, were devoured with all the avidity of extreme hunger. And now they discovered around them the signs of civilization. They perceived that a cessation of their sufferings was at hand. They had at last reached New Mexico. The spirits of the wearied, worn out band began to revive. They would soon be near their friends, and receive the hospitable treatment they so much required.
From some Mexicans, who were just returning from trading with the Indians on the prairies, and whom they now overtook, they obtained guides whom they despatched to the main body. They next overtook shepherds with innumerable flocks of sheep. Supplied by them with food, all sufferings were forgotten, and joyful anticipations of the future took the place of gloom, fear and anxiety.
A couple of officers were sent forward to the frontier town of San Miguel, to confer with the authorities. Two of the merchants and our author, accompanied them. A ludicrous description is given of the fear excited among the Mexicans, at their approach to the little villages upon their way, it being difficult to make them comprehend that the designs of the party were peaceful. They proceeded for some time unmolested, their approach, however, evidently exciting consternation. Horsemen were seen at intervals, dashing away into the interior, as if to carry intelligence. They were finally surrounded by a troop of mounted Mexican soldiers, a hundred or more in number. Salezar, their leader, addressed the little party with much politeness. He was informed, upon inquiry, that they were from Texas, and that they desired to see the governor. Frankly, plausibly, the Mexican conferred with them, and remarked that, "they must be aware that there was an impropriety in their entering into the territory with arms in their hands—that it was contrary to the usages of civilized nations, and that he hoped that they would not object to surrender them to him, to be returned again when the objects of their coming were more fully understood." Their arms were surrendered. He next demanded, in the most polite and courteous terms, to see their papers. This could not be refused, when no longer in possession of their arms, and surrounded as they
And now, the demeanor of the Mexican leader underwent an entire change. He ordered twelve men, armed with muskets, to advance in front of the little party. The
object was terribly manifest. The five envoys were to be shot. We may well believe that the rapid moments between the first order and the final one, immediately expected, were moments of harrowing and awful suspense. With no apparent chance of escape, the doomed men stood awaiting the fatal word, which, pronounced by the miscreant Salezar, would hurry them into eternity. To snatch weapons from those standing near them, to sell their lives at as dear a rate as possible, flashed across their minds; but death, with the odds at hand, was inevitable. It was at this moment that an officer of Salezar's corps interfered, and the lives of the prisoners were spared.
Such was the reception that greeted the unfortunate, half starved, and worn-out strangers-such the result of their fair anticipations. Disarmed, maltreated, and guarded with vigilance by the ragamuffin Mexican soldiery, they were sent forward to meet the governor.
And here, perhaps, it may be proper to advert to the character of the Texan expedition as it must have appeared to the rulers of Mexico. An armed band of Texans, a people long at war to the knife” with that country, often victorious, and who recently, though small in number, had made themselves independent of a populous, and, in many respects, powerful nation, suddenly without warning, presents itself upon the frontiers where it is least expected, and comes armed as for war. Are such men to be regarded as friends or enemies? How otherwise than as enemies? and more especially when they had penetrated into the country by a new and unusual route. It is true that merchants attended the expedition, but how should the Mexicans know that, seeming peaceful, they came not with hostile intentions indeed, all circumstances appeared to give colour to such an inference. Can we wonder then, that they were treated roughly? It is true that they suffered indignities which any civilized people should have blushed to have inflicted upon enemies in their power, but yet they could not expect to have been treated otherwise than with severity. Certainly the Mexicans had some apology; it was natural that they should suspect the Texans-that they should treat them as enemies, under the circumstances. Governor Armijo, before whom the prisoners were about to be carried, was a man void of principle, destitute of a single virtue, stained with vices innumerable, both in public and private life. He had