Slike strani
PDF
ePub

these bars close up to the cabin. Sleeping in the cabin that night were Beach, Fine, Pulteney, Henson, Behan and the writer. The cabin was about 8x10, with no window and only a blanket for the door. Some time in the night the little dog began barking. This awakened Henson and myself. Henson got up and, raising the blanket looked out. At this moment the pup gave a sharp yelp, and all was quiet. I asked Herison what was up, and he said, 'A coyote, perhaps,' and, hearing nothing more, he lay down and we again went to sleep. The next morning we found the log chain unwound, the bars down, and every hoof of the cattle gone. The little dog was lying dead with an arrow through its body not more than fifty feet from the door of the cabin.

“Up at 'Gimletville,' the name derisively given to Goodwin by the Prescottites, were two restaurants. One was kept by the Virgin Mary' and the other by a man named Jackson. The 'Virgin Mary' had come up from Tucson with ‘Nigger' Brown, and had brought a dozen or two goats with her. Both restaurants had drawing cards. The 'Virgin Mary' pull was goat's milk for coffee, and Jackson's was his sixteen-year old stepdaughter. As between the two "cards' I think the goat's milk had the stronger pull.

“In those early days greenbacks were at a discount. The gold standard prevailed. Bacon was a dollar and a half a pound in gold, or three dollars in paper money, and the same price for coffee and sugar. A pair of the most ordinary boots cost $25 in gold. At this rate I bought no boots, but made moccasins. The winter of 1864-65 found me in Prescott. John P. Burke and a man named Hollister were running the Prescott House on Granite Street. Here I was a general factotum about the place. That winter the first mail came in from La Paz, brought in by a Mr. Grant who left the same at the 'hotel.' I put the few letters behind the bar, and gave them out to anyone calling for them. Hence I handled the first mail entering Prescott. Afterwards, by common consent, it was turned over to "Parson' Williams.

"The most dangerous man in Prescott at this time was A. G. Dunn. He had killed a man in Oregon and was sent to the pen, but through influential friends had secured his release and come to Arizona. In town were two “Sols,' Little Sol, and Black Sol, and Dunn had some words over a Mexican woman with Black Sol, and Dunn threatened to kill Black Sol. Dunn never carried a pistol, but did carry a small Ballard rifle at all times. The little Jew armed himself with two big six-shooters and, being rather diminutive in stature, the muzzles of the two pistols whacked against the calves of his legs to the amusement of everybody. One evening 'the woman in the case' was at the cabin of McMahan, who had a Mexican wife. Mac was an assayer. Black Sol also put in there, too, and pretty soon someone in the house saw Dunn approaching. The Jew was frightened and crawled under the bed. Dunn had no idea that the Jew was there and entered the room, put his gun in a corner, and sat down on a chair leaning back against the bed. McMahan, fearing trouble should Dunn discover the presence of the Jew, came up to the hotel after the sheriff. Burke was under-sheriff and, with a pocket derringer, returned with McMahan to the cabin. He walked close up to Dunn, shooting Dunn through the left shoulder. Dunn jumped to his feet and made for his gun. Burke fled out the door and as he ran Dunn fired and shot the stock off the pistol in Burke's right hand, the ball passing through Burke's thumb. It happened that Dunn had no more cartridges and, after firing at Burke, he set his gun down against the wall of the cabin on the oustide and stood there with his back against the house. In the meantime Burke had gone to the hotel and reported matters to the sheriff, Jerome B. Calkins. The sheriff, accompanied by Charley Ott, went to the McMahan cabin, both armed with sixshooters. Dunn saw them approaching but made no move, nor did he say a word. At the proper shooting distance Calkins turned loose with his gun; he shot the second time, and again the third time. Still Dunn made no move nor opened his mouth. The sheriff then went up to him, supposing that he had missed the fellow all the time, and placed him under arrest. Coming to the hotel Dunn practically gave way from loss of blood, and then it was that the sheriff knew that he had hit Dunn. The wounded man was brought into the hotel and laid upon the floor. Dr. John T. Alsap did something for the man, but advised sending for Dr. Coues at the fort, Coues came up and plugged up Dunn as best he could, but thought the man had no chance to live. Dunn said: 'Doctor, are you through?' and then called for the drinks, saying, “I'll live to get even with those fellows.' And, strange to say, he did. I sat up with Dunn that night looking all the time for him to die. Dr. Coues came up the following morning, and to his surprise, found the man alive. He said to Dunn: 'You have great vitality and have a chance to recover.' To this Dunn smiled and said, 'Of course I will,' and he did recover.

“Along in the spring of 1865, Major Staples, a paymaster in the army, paid off the troops at Whipple, and with an escort of California Volunteers, started back to his headquarters at Santa Fe. Several parties took advantage of the escort to return to New Mexico. Among those going back were C. W. Beach, George Cooler, Burke and myself, and, perhaps, a few others. We followed our old military trail via Chino Valley, Hell Canyon, Rattlesnake Tank, Bear Springs, Volunteer Springs, Antelope Springs, the present_site of Flagstaff-Coconino Tanks, Walnut Tanks, the Little Colorado at the mouth of the Canyon Diablo, and so on. It was some time in the month of April, 1865, this trip was made. We had six mule wagons for baggage and grub; the escort were cavalrymen, and the Major rode a horse.

“Before we had reached the Coconino caves, I pushed on ahead of the outfit as I wanted to take a look at them. Reaching the caves I saw smoke coming out of the volcanic rocks over a considerable extent of ground. I entered one of the caves and, finding a hole leading further back in to the mountain, I crawled in on my hands and knees, and seeing a reflected light ahead, I crawled towards it. By this time the opening was so small that I was forced to lie flat in order to get in. Finally I had gone as far as was possible and here saw that the light came up through a fissure about two feet wide. Looking down into the fissure I could see about sixty

feet but could not see from whence came the light as at that depth there was a bench or setoff and the fire was still further below and out of sight. To get back again I was obliged to use my toes to pull myself, and my hands to push. Coming out I saw the party approaching and spoke to the Major of what I had seen and asked if he did not want to investigate. Seeing the smoke coming out of the rocks—not very much—he replied, “No, we are near enough h–1 now.'

“Without further incident we reached (old) Fort Wingate sometime in May, where we first heard of the assassination of President Lincoln. In due time we reached Albuquerque, where I remained for a time.”

The foregoing statement made by A. F. Banta gives a description of the second expedition under Major Willis and also an outline of the general conditions in the mountain camps around Prescott at the time of his arrival with the second expedition, and some of his subsequent experiences.

It does not appear in General Carleton's letters, or elsewhere, that there was any suspicion that the Walker party were Confederates, for had their loyalty been suspected, they would all have been arrested in New Mexico and compelled to take the oath of allegiance, so it is probable that this portion of Mr. Banta's statement was founded upon camp rumors.

D. E. Conner says the Walker party was about equally divided in sympathy between the North and South.

The two companies of California Volunteers sent out by General Carleton were expected to

« PrejšnjaNaprej »