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Chapter XIII


Chapter XV


A Mountain Storm--Delay of Supplies--Clams and Ipecac--Arrival of Train--A Cute Indian--Indian Sagacity--A Dangerous Weapon--Capture of Indian Village--An Eloquent Chief--Woman's Rights versus Squaw's Wrongs--A Disturbed Family--A Magnificent Sunrise--On a Slippery Slope--Sentiment and Poetry--Arrival at the Fresno.

A MOUNTAIN storm raged with such violence as to stampede the mules of the pack-train while the escort were encamped on the South Fork. The mules were not overtaken until they reached the foot-hills of the Fresno. In the meantime, while impatiently awaiting their return, our rations gave out. In order to somewhat appease our hunger, Dr. Black distributed his hospital stores among us. There were some canned fruits and meats, and several cans of oysters and clams. The southerners of the command waived their rights to the clams, but cast lots for the oysters. Thinking we had a prize in the clams, we brought to bear our early recollections of Eastern life, and compounded a most excellent and, what we supposed would be, a most nourishing soup. Our enjoyment, however, of this highly prized New England dish was of short duration; for from some cause, never satisfactorily explained by Dr. Black, or other eminent counsel, our Eastern mess, as if moved by one impulse of re-gurgitation, gave up their clams. Fortunately for us our supplies arrived the next morning; for the game procurable was not sufficient for the command. Major Savage sent Cow-chitty, a brother of Pon-watch-ee, the chief of the Noot-choo band, whose village we surprised before we discovered the valley, as chief of scouts. He was accompanied by several young warriors, selected because they were all familiar with the Sierra Nevada trails and the territory of the Pai-utes, where it was thought probable the expedition would penetrate.

Captain Boling had in his report to Major Savage, complained of the incapacity of Sandino as guide, and expressed the opinion that he stood in awe of Ten-ie-ya. By letter, the Major replied, and particularly advised Captain Boling that implicit confidence could be placed in Cow-chitty and his scouts, as the sub-chief was an old enemy of Ten-ie-ya, and was esteemed for his sagacity and wood-craft, which was superior to that of any Indian in his tribe. Captain Boling had improved in health and strength, and concluded to venture on his contemplated expedition over the mountains. He at once ordered preparations to be made. A camp-guard was detailed, and a special supply train fitted out. All was ready for a start in the morning. During the evening Captain Boling consulted our new guide as to what trail would be best to follow to the Mono pass and over the mountains. Cow-chitty had already learned from our Po-ho-no scouts and those of his own tribe, the extent of our explorations, and had had a long talk with Sandino as well as with Ten-ie-ya. The mission Indian and the old chief tried to make the new guide believe that the Yosemites had gone over the mountains to the Monos. Indian-like, he had remained very grave and taciturn, while the preparations were going on for the expedition. Now, however, that he was consulted by Captain Boling, he was willing enough to give his advice, and in a very emphatic manner declared his belief to the Captain that Ten-ie-ya's people were not far off; that they were either hiding in some of the rocky cañons in the vicinity of the valley, or in those of the Tuolumne, and discouraged the idea of attempting the expedition with horses. Although this did not coincide with the views of our Captain, the earnestness of Cow-chitty decided him to make another attempt in the near vicinity before crossing the mountains. The horses and supply-train were accordingly left in camp, and we started at daylight on foot, with three days' rations packed in our blankets. We left the valley this time by way of the Py-we-ack cañon, and ascended the north cliff trail, a short distance above "Mirror Lake." Soon after reaching the summit, Indian signs were discovered near the trail we were on. The old trail up the slope of the cañon, was here abandoned, and the fresh trail followed up to and along the ridges just below the snow line. These signs and the tortuous course pursued, were similar to the tracks followed on our trip up Indian Cañon, and were as easily traced until we reached an elevation almost entirely covered with snow from five to ten feet deep, except on exposed tops of ridges, where the snow had blown off to the north side or melted away.

I had accompanied our guide in advance of the command, but observing that our course was a zig-zag one, some times almost doubling on our trail, I stopped and told the guide to halt until the Captain came up. He had been following the ridges without a sign of a trail being visible, although he had sometimes pointed to small pieces of coarse granite on the rocky divides, which he said had been displaced by Ten-ie-ya's scouts. That in going out or returning from their camps, they had kept on the rocky ridges, and had avoided tracking the snow or soft ground, so as to prevent the Americans from following them. As we stopped, he called me a little out of hearing of those with me, and by pantomime and a few words indicated his belief in the near presence of Indians.

When the Captain came up he said: "The hiding-place of the Yosemites is not far off. If they had crossed the mountains their scouts would not be so careful to hide their trail. They would follow the old trail if they came to watch you, because it is direct, and would only hide their tracks when they were again far from the valley and near their rancheria." This was, in part, an answer to Captain Boling's inquiry as to why we had left the old trail, and gone so far out of our way. I explained to him what Cow-chitty had stated, and pointed out what the guide or scout said was a fresh trail. The Captain looked tired and disheartened, but with a grim smile said: "That may be a fresh Indian track, but I can't see it. If left to my own feelings and judgment, I should say we were on another wild-goose chase. If the guide can see tracks, and thinks he has got'em this time, I reckon it is better to follow on; but if there is any short-cut tell him to give us some landmarks to go by; for I find I am not as strong as I thought. Let us take another look at this fresh trail, and then you may get Cow-chitty's idea as to the probable course this trail will take further on." As we moved up the trail a little farther, the expert scout pointed out more fresh signs, but Captain Boling failed to discern a trail, and gave up the examination, and as he seated himself for a momentary rest, said: "I reckon it is all right, Doc. The Major says in his letter that I can bet on Cow-chitty every time. But I can't see any more of a trail on this rocky ridge than I can see the trail of that wood-pecker as he flies through the air, but I have some faith in instinct, for I reckon that is what it is that enables him to follow a trail that he imagines should be there. We shall have to trust him to follow it, and let him have his own way as you would a fox-hound; if he don't, puppy-like, take the back track, or run wild with us over some of these ledges." Old Ten-ie-ya was now appealed to for information concerning the fresh signs, but he only reiterated his former statement that his people had gone over the mountains to the Monos, and the signs he said were those of Tuolumne Indians. Captain Boling had taken the old chief along with us on this trip, hoping to make him of some use, if not directly as guide, indirectly; it was thought he might betray his people's hiding-place. But the Captain was disappointed in this, for no finished gamester ever displayed a more immovable countenance than did Ten-ie-ya when questioned at any time during the expedition. A cord had again been placed around his waist to secure his allegiance, and as we were about to move ahead once more, he very gravely said that if we followed the signs, they would take us over to the Tuolumne.

Before this Sandino had professed to agree with Ten-ie-ya, but now he carefully withheld his own opinions, and as carefully rendered his interpretations. He feared Cow-chitty more than Ten-ie-ya; and he was frequently seen to cross himself while muttering his prayers. Spencer and myself re-assured the timid creature, and made him quite happy by telling him that we would guard him against the "Gentiles," as he called the natives.

I explained to Cow-chitty our inability to follow the tracks as he did over the bare granite. This flattered him, and he then pointed out his own method of doing so, which was simple enough with one of keen sight. It consisted entirely in discovering fragments of stone and moss that had been displaced, and broken off and scattered upon the ground. The upper surface of the broken fragments of stone were smooth and bleached, while the under surface was dark or colored. It was impossible to walk over these stony ridges without displacing some of the fragments, and these the quick eye of Cow-chitty was sure to discover. Cow-chitty was pleased when told of Captain Boling's appreciation of his sagacity, and honored by the confidence the Captain began to show him. He expressed his gratification by being more communicative than he had been before. He said, "These signs tell me that the Yosemite scouts have been watching all the movements of the Americans, and the trails that will take you to their camps. They will not look for you on this trail. They are watching for you from the ridges nearer the valley. We will not have to go far to find their camps. This trail will lead us to the head of the Py-we-ack, where the Pai-ute or Mono trail crosses into the upper valley of the Tuolumne; and if we don't find them at the lake, we will soon know if they have crossed the mountains."

He then proposed that Captain Boling send out scouts to intercept and capture the Yosemite scouts, who might be below us watching the valley. This being interpreted to Captain Boling, he at once adopted the suggestion of the cout. He selected three of our best runners, and directed Cow-chitty to select three of his. These were sent out in pairs--an Indian and a white man. The scouts were placed under direction of the sub-chief, who followed the trail, and indicated to the Captain the most direct route for the main body to follow. In health Captain Boling was athletic and ambitious on the march. He had now, however, over-estimated his strength, and suffered considerably from fatigue; but the halt afforded him a rest that very much refreshed him. I traveled with him during the remainder of the march, so as to be near him as interpretor, and took charge of Ten-ie-ya. The Captain, Ten-ie-ya, Sandino and myself traveled together. Our march was more leisurely than in the earlier part of the day. This allowed Captain Boling to somewhat recover from his fatigue.

On an ascending spur that ran down to the Py-we-ack, we found Cow-chitty quietly awaiting our approach. As we halted, he pointed out to Captain Boling a dim circle of blue smoke, that appeared to eddy under the lee of a large granite knob or peak, and said, "Rancheria." Old Ten-ie-ya was standing in front of me, but exhibited no interest in the discovery. As I lowered my line of vision to the base of the cliff, to trace the source of the smoke, there appeared the Indian village, resting in fancied security, upon the border of a most beautiful little lake, seemingly not more than a half mile away. To the lake I afterwards gave the name of Ten-ie-ya. The granite knob was so bare, smooth and glistening, that Captain Boling at once pointed it out, and selected it as a landmark. He designated it as a rallying point for his men, if scattered in pursuit, and said that we should probably camp near it for the night.

While the Captain was studying the nature of the ground before us, and making his arrangements to capture the village, our scouts were discovered in full chase of an Indian picket, who was running towards the village as if his life depended upon his efforts. In the excitement of the moment Captain Boling ordered us to double-quick and charge, thinking, as he afterwards said, that the huts could not be much more than half a mile away. Such a mistake could only originate in the transparent air of the mountains. The village was fully two miles or more away. We did, however, double-quick, and I kept a gait that soon carried Ten-ie-ya and Sandino, with myself, ahead of our scattering column. Finding the rope with which I held Ten-ie-ya an encumbrance in our rapid march, I wound it round his shoulder and kept him in front of me. While passing a steep slope of overlapping granite rock, the old chief made a sudden spring to the right, and attempted to escape down the ragged precipice. His age was against him, for I caught him just as he was about to let himself drop from the projecting ledge to the ground below; his feet were already over the brink.

I felt somewhat angered at the trick of the old fellow in attempting to relieve himself from my custody, and the delay it had occasioned me; for we had taken the most direct although not the smoothest course. I resumed our advance at a gait that hurried the old sachem forward, perhaps less carefully and more rapidly than comported with the dignity of his years and rank. I was amused at the proposition of one of the "boys" who had witnessed the transaction, to "shoot the old devil, and not be bothered with him any more." I of course declined this humane proposition to relieve me of further care, and at once became the chief's most devoted defender, which observing, he afterwards told Captain Boling that I was "very good." As we reached the more gently descending ground near the bottom of the slope, an Indian came running up the trail below us that led to the Rancheria. His course was at an acute angle to the one pursued by us toward the village, which was now but a few rods off. I ordered Sandino to cut him off and capture him before he should reach the camp. This was accomplished with great energy and a good degree of pride.

The Yosemites had already discovered our approach, but too late for any concerted resistance or for successful escape, for Lt. Crawford at the head of a portion of the command, dashed at once into the center of the encampment, and the terror-stricken Indians immediately threw up their bare hands in token of submission, and piteously cried out "pace! pace!" (peace, peace). As I halted to disarm the scout captured by Sandino, I was near enough to the camp to hear the expressions of submission. I was compelled to laugh at the absurd performances of Sandino, who to terrify his prisoner, was persistently holding in his face an old double-barreled pistol. I was aware the weapon was a harmless one, for one hammer was gone, and the other could not be made to explode a cap. I took the bow and arrows from the frightened savage, and as Captain Boling came up I reported the capture, telling him at the same time of the surrender of the village or Rancheria to Lt. Crawford. Seeing some of the Indians leaving the camp, and running down the lake to a trail crossing its outlet, the Captain and the men with him sprang forward through the grove of pines near the crossing, and drove them back. No show of resistance was offered, neither did any escape from us.

While Captain Boling was counting his prisoners and corralling them with a guard, I, by his previous order, restrained Ten-ie-ya from any communication with his people. The chief of this village was a young man of perhaps thirty years of age. When called upon by the Captain to state how many were under his command, he answered that those in the encampment were all that was left; the rest had scattered and returned to the tribes they sprung from. Ten-ie-ya seemed very anxious to answer the interrogations made to the young chief, but Captain Boling would not allow his farther interference, and jokingly told me to send him over among the women who were grouped a little aside, as he was now about as harmless. I acted upon the suggestion, and upon his being told that he had the liberty of the camp if he made no further attempts to escape, the old fellow stepped off briskly to meet his four squaws, who were with this band, and who seemed as pleased as himself at their re-union.

Captain Boling felt satisfied that the answer given by this half-starved chief, and the few braves of his wretched looking band, were as truthful as their condition would corroborate. Finding themselves so completely surprised, notwithstanding their extreme vigilance, and comparing the well kept appearance of their old chief with their own worn out, dilapidated condition, they with apparent anxiety expressed a willingness for the future to live in peace with the Americans. All hopes of avoiding a treaty, or of preventing their removal to the Reservation, appeared to have at once been abandoned; for when the young chief was asked if he and his band were willing to go to the Fresno, he replied with much emotion of gesture, and as rendered by Sandino to Spencer and myself: "Not only willing, but anxious;" for, said he: "Where can we now go that the Americans will not follow us?" As he said this, he stretched his arms out toward the East, and added: "Where can we make our homes, that you will not find us?" He then went on and stated that they had fled to the mountains without food or clothing; that they were worn out from watching our scouts, and building signal-fires to tire us out also.

They had been anxious to embroil us in trouble by drawing us into the cañons of the Tuolumne, where were some Pai-utes wintering in a valley like Ah-wah-ne. They had hoped to be secure in this retreat until the snow melted, so that they could go to the Mono tribe and make a home with them, but that now he was told the Americans would follow them even there, he was willing, with all his little band, to go to the plains with us." After the young chief had been allowed full liberty of speech, and had sat down, Ten-ie-ya again came forward, and would have doubtless made a confession of faith, but his speech was cut short by an order from Captain Boling to at once move camp to a beautiful pine grove on the north side of the outlet to the lake, which he had selected for our camping-place for the night. By this order he was able to have everything in readiness for an early start the next morning. There was an abundance of dry pine, convenient for our camp fires, and as the night was exceedingly cold, the glowing fires were a necessity to our comfort. The Indians were told to pack such movables as they desired to take with them, and move down at once to our camp-ground.

The scene was a busy one. The squaws and children exhibited their delight in the prospect of a change to a more genial locality, and where food would be plenty. While watching the preparations of the squaws for the transfer of their household treasures and scanty stores, my attention was directed to a dark object that appeared to be crawling up the base of the first granite peak above their camp. The polished surface of the gleaming rock made the object appear larger than the reality. We were unable to determine what kind of an animal it could be; but one of our scouts, to whom the name of "Big Drunk" had been given, pronounced it a papoose, although some had variously called it a bear, a fisher or a coon. "Big Drunk" started after it, and soon returned with a bright, active boy, entirely naked, which he coaxed from his slippery perch. Finding himself an object of curiosity his fright subsided, and he drew from its hiding-place, in the bushes near by, a garment that somewhat in shape, at least, resembled a man's shirt. " The Glistening Rocks " had rendered us all oblivious to the color, and that was left undetermined. This garment swept the ground after he had clothed himself with it. His ludicrous appearance excited our laughter, and as if pleased with the attentions paid to him, the little fellow joined heartily in the merriment he occasioned. It will not be out of place to here relate the sequel of this boy's history. Learning that he was an orphan and without relatives, Captain Boling adopted him, calling him "Reube," in honor of Lt. Reuben Chandler, who after Captain Boling was the most popular man in the battalion.

Some three or four years afterward, the boy, as if to illustrate the folly of the Captain in trying to civilize and educate him, ran away from his patron, taking with him two valuable, thorough-bred Tennessee horses, much prized by the Captain; besides money, clothing and arms belonging to the Captain's brother-in-law, Col. Lane, of Stockton, in whose charge Captain Boling had placed him, that he might have the advantages of a good school. After collecting together all the Indians found in this encampment; the total number was found to be but thirty-five, nearly all of whom were in some way a part of the family of the old patriarch, Ten-ie-ya. These were escorted to our camp, the men placed under guard, but the women and children were left free.

This was accomplished before sun down, and being relieved of duty, a few of us ran across the outlet of the lake, and climbing the divide on the south side of the lake, beheld a sunset view that will long be remembered. It was dark when we reached camp, and after a scanty repast, we spread our blankets, and soon were wrapped in slumber sweet.

We were awakened by the cold, which became more uncomfortable as night advanced, and finding it impossible to again compose ourselves to sleep, Captain Boling aroused the camp, and preparations were made by the light of the blazing camp-fires for an early start for the valley. Desiring some clean, fresh water, I went to the lake as the nearest point to obtain it, when, to my surprise, I found that the new ice formed during the night and connecting the old ice with the shore of the lake, was strong enough to bear me up. At a point where the old ice had drifted near, I went out some distance upon it, and it appeared strong enough to have borne up a horse. This was about the 5th of June, 1851. The change of temperature from summer in the valley to winter on the mountains, without shelter, was felt by us all. After a hasty breakfast, the word was passed to assemble, and we were soon all ready for the order to march. All at once there was turmoil and strife in camp, and what sounded to my ears very much like a Chinese concert. Captain Boling was always a man of gallantry, and in this instance would not allow the squaws to take the burden of the baggage. Hence the confusion and delay. He ordered the Indians to carry the packs--burdens they had imposed on their women. This order brought down upon him the vituperations of the squaws and sullen murmurs from the "noble red men;" as often happens in domestic interference, the family was offended. Ten-ie-ya rose to explain, and waxed eloquent in his protest against this innovation on their ancient customs.

As soon as the Captain was made aware of the old fellow's object in having "a talk," he cut short the debate by ordering one of the lieutenants to see that every Indian, as well as squaw, was properly loaded with a just proportion of their burdens. The real object of the Captain was to facilitate the return to the valley, by making it easy for the squaws and children to accompany us through without delays. One amusing feature in this arrangement was, that long after the men had been silenced, their squaws continued to murmur at the indignity practiced on their disgraced lords. I have my doubts, even to this day, whether the standard of women's rights was ever again waved among the mountain tribes after this "special order" was issued by our good-hearted Captain.

In order to take the most direct route to the valley, Captain Boling selected one of the young Yosemite Indians to lead the way with our regular guide. Being relieved of the charge of Ten-ie-ya, I took my usual place on the march with the guide. This position was preferred by me, because it afforded ample opportunity for observation and time for reflection; and beside, it was in my nature to be in advance. The trail followed, after leaving the lake, led us over bare granite slopes and hidden paths, but the distance was materially shortened. A short distance below the bottom land of the lake, on the north side of the cañon and at the head of the gorge, the smooth, sloping granite projects like a vast roof over the abyss below. As we approached this, our young guide pointed toward it.

By close observation I was able to discover that the trail led up its sloping surface, and was assured by the guide that the trail was a good one. I felt doubtful of the Captain's willingness to scale that rocky slope, and halted for him to come up. The Captain followed the trail to its termination in the soil, and saw the cause of my having halted. Upon the discoloration of the rock being pointed out as the continuation of the trail, he glanced up the granite slope and said, "Go on, but be watchful, for a slide into the gorge would bring as certain death as a slide from that San Joaquin trail, which I have not yet forgotten." Some of the command did not fancy this any more than they did the Ten-ie-ya trail down "Indian Cañon." We all pulled off our boots and went up this slope bare-footed. Seeing there was no real danger, the most timid soon moved up as fearless as the others. I, with the advance, soon reached the soil above, and at the top halted until the Indians and our straggling column closed up. As I looked about me, I discovered, unfolding to my sight, one of the most charming views in this sublimest scenery of nature. During the day before, we had looked with astonishment on the almost boundless peaks, and snow-capped mountains, to be seen from the Mt. Hoffman divide. But here some of the same views appeared illuminated. In our ascent up the mountain, we had apparently met the rising sun. The scene was one long to be remembered for its brilliancy, although not describable.

Mr. Addison, in the Spectator, says: "Our imagination loves to be filled with an object, or to grasp at anything that is too big for its capacity. We are flung into a pleasing astonishment at such unbounded views, and feel a delightful stillness and amazement in the soul." Mr. Addison has here expressed the feelings entertained by some of us, as the view met our gaze while looking out to the east, the south and the west. Although not sufficiently elevated to command a general outlook, the higher ridges framing some of the scenery to the north and eastward of us, the westerly view was boundless. The transparency of the atmosphere was here extreme, and as the sun illumined the snow-clad and ice-burnished peaks, the scene aroused the enthusiasm of the command to a shout of glad surprise.

The recollections of the discomforts of the night were banished by the glory of the morning as here displayed. Even the beauties of the Yosemite, of which I was so ardent an admirer, were for the moment eclipsed by this gorgeously grand and changing scene. The aurora that had preceded the rising sun was as many-hued, and if possible more glorious, than the most vivid borealis of the northern climes. But when the sun appeared, seemingly like a sudden flash, amidst the distant peaks, the climax was complete. My opportunities for examining the mountain scenery of the Sierra Nevada above the immediate vicinity of the Yosemite, were such as to only enable me to give a somewhat general description, but the views that I had during our explorations afforded me glimpses of the possibilities of sublime mountain scenery, such as I had never before comprehended, although familiar with the views afforded from some of the peaks of Mexico and of the Rocky Mountains. I doubt even if the Yellow Stone, supreme in some of its attractions, affords such varied and majestic beauty.

Looking back to the lovely little lake, where we had been encamped during the night, and watching Ten-ie-ya as he ascended to our group, I suggested to the Captain that we name the lake after the old chief, and call it "Lake Ten-ie-ya." The Captain had fully recovered from his annoyance at the scene in camp, and readily consented to the name, but added that I had evidently mistaken my vocation.

Noticing my look of surprise, he jokingly said that if I had only studied divinity instead of medicine, I could have then fully gratified my passion for christening. This, of course, brought out a general guffaw, and thinking me annoyed, he said: "Gentlemen, I think the name an appropriate one, and shall use it in my report of the expedition. Beside this, it is rendering a kind of justice to perpetuate the name of the old chief."

When Ten-ie-ya reached the summit, he left his people and approached where the Captain and a few of us were halting. Although he had been snubbed by the Captain that morning, he now seemed to have forgotten it, and his rather rugged countenance glowed with healthful exercise in the sunlight. I had handled him rather roughly the day before, but as he now evidently wished to be friendly, I called him up to us, and told him that we had given his name to the lake and river. At first, he seemed unable to comprehend our purpose, and pointing to the group of Glistening peaks, near the head of the lake, said: "It already has a name; we call it Py-we-ack." Upon my telling him that we had named it Ten-ie-ya, because it was upon the shores of the lake that we had found his people, who would never return to it to live, his countenance fell and he at once left our group and joined his own family circle. His countenance as he left us indicated that he thought the naming of the lake no equivalent for the loss of his territory.

I never at any time had real personal dislike for the old sachem. He had always been an object of study, and I sometimes found in him profitable entertainment. As he moved off to hide his sorrow, I pitied him. As we resumed our march over the rough and billowy trail, I was more fully impressed with the appropriateness of the name for the beautiful lake. Here, probably, his people had built their last wigwams in their mountain home. From this lake we were leading the last remnant of his once dreaded tribe, to a territory from which it was designed they should never return as a people. My sympathies, confirmed in my own mind, a justness in thus perpetuating the name of Ten-ie-ya. The Indian name for this lake, branch and cañon, "Py-we-ack" is, although a most appropriate one, now displaced by that of the old chief Ten-ie-ya. Of the signification of the name Ten-ie-ya, I am uncertain; but as pronounced by himself, I have no doubt of its being pure Indian.

The whole mountain region of the water-sheds of the Merced and Tuolumne rivers afford the most delightful views to be seen anywhere of mountains, cliffs, cascades and waterfalls, grand forests and mountain meadows, and the Soda Springs are yet destined to become a favorite summer resort. Mr. Muir has well said that the "upper Tuolumne valley is the widest, smoothest, most serenely spacious, and in every way the most delightful summer pleasure park in all the High Sierras."

Now that it has become a part of the new National Park surrounding the old grant (see new map), and good trails reach it, wagon roads will soon be extended into the very "heart of the Sierras"

We reached our camp in the valley without accident. Captain Boling at once gave orders to make preparations for our return to the Fresno. The next day we broke camp and moved down to the lower end of the valley near where we camped on the first night of our discovery, near the little meadow at the foot of the Mariposa Trail.

At sunrise the next morning, or rather as the reflections on the cliffs indicated sunrise, we commenced our ascent of the steep trail. As I reached the height of land where the moving column would soon perhaps forever shut out from view the immortal "Rock Chief," my old sympathies returned, and leaving the command to pursue its heedless way, I climbed to my old perch where Savage had warned me of danger. As I looked back upon El Capitan, his bald forehead was cooling in the breeze that swept by me from the " Summer land" below, and his cheerful countenance reflected back the glory of the rising sun. Feeling my own inferiority while acknowledging the majesty of the scene, I looked back from Mt. Beatitude, and quoting from Byron, exclaimed: Yosemite! "Thy vale(s) of evergreen, thy hills of snowProclaim thee Nature's varied favorite now."

We reached the Fresno without the loss of a captive, and as we turned them over to the agent, we were formally commended for the success of the expedition.


Chapter XIII


Chapter XV