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A couple of trees were felled in the middle of the clump in which they were still encamped. They were first roughly squared and then sawn into planks, the three men taking it by turns to use the saw. The question of shifting the camp up to the spot where they intended to work was discussed the night before Harry started, but it was agreed at last that it would be better to remain where they were.
"If Utes come, sure to find traces," the chief said. "Many horses in valley make tracks as plain as noonday. Gold valley bad place for fight."
"That is so," Jerry agreed. "We should not have a show there. Even if we made a log-house, and it would be a dog-goned trouble to carry up the logs,--we might be shut up in it, and the red-skins would only have to lie round and shoot us down if we came out. I reckon we had best stay here after all, Harry. We could keep them outside the range of our rifles anyhow by day."
"I don't see that that would be much good to us, Jerry; for if they came by day they would not find us here. Still I don't know that it ain't best for us to stay here; it would give us a lot of trouble to build a place. I reckon two of us had better stay here all the day with the horses. If the red-skins come, they can fire a couple of shots, and we shall hear them up at the washing-place. The red-skins would be safe to draw off for a bit to talk it over before they attacked, as they would not know how many there were among the trees. That would give the rest time to come down."
It took three days' hard work to saw the planks and make the cradle, and troughs sufficiently long to lead the water down into it from the stream higher up. These were roughly but strongly made, the joints being smeared with clay to prevent the water from running through. A dam was then made to keep back the water above the spot where they intended to begin, which was about fifty yards below the quartz vein, and from this dam the trough was taken along on strong trestles to the cradle.
The horses were brought into the camp at daybreak every morning and tied up to the trees, and were let out again at nightfall. Tom remained in camp, the chief being with him. The latter, however, was, during the time Harry was away, twice absent for a day on hunting excursions lower down the valley, which was there thickly wooded. The first time, he returned with the hams and a considerable portion of the rest of the flesh of a bear. The second time, he brought up the carcass of a deer.
"How far does the valley run?" Tom asked.
"Valley last ten miles. Sides get steep and high, then canon begin."
"That will run right down to the Colorado?"
The chief nodded. "Leaping Horse go no farther. Canon must go down to the river."
"How far is it before the sides of the valley get too steep to climb?"
"Two miles from here. Men could climb another mile or two, horses not."
"Is there much game down there, chief?"
The Seneca nodded.
"That is a comfort, we sha'n't be likely to run out of fresh meat."
The chief was very careful in choosing the wood for the fire, so that in the daytime no smoke should be seen rising from the trees. When the dead wood in the clump of trees was exhausted he rode down the valley each day, and returned in an hour with a large faggot fastened behind him on the horse. He always started before daybreak, so as to reduce the risk of being seen from the hills. On the sixth day the men began their work at the gravel. The bottle of mercury was emptied into the cradle, the bottom of which had been made with the greatest care, so as to prevent any loss from leakage. Two of the men brought up the gravel in buckets and pans, until the cradle was half full. Then water was let in, and the third man rocked the machine and kept on removing the coarse stuff that worked up to the top, while the others continued bringing up fresh gravel.
"Well, what luck?" Tom asked, when they returned in the evening.
"We have not cleaned up yet; we shall let it run for three or four days before we do. We are only on the surface yet, and the stuff wouldn't pay for the trouble of washing out."
On the eighth day after their departure Harry and Hunting Dog returned.
"Well, boys, it is all stowed away safely," he said. "I know the Major well, and he let me have a big chest, which he locked up, after I had put the bags in, and had it stowed away in the magazine; so there is no fear of its being touched. Any signs of the red-skins?"
"Nary a sign. We have none of us been up the valley beyond this, so that unless they come right down here, they would find no trail. The horses are always driven down the valley at night."
"How is the work going on, Jerry?"
"We began washing two days ago; to-morrow night we shall clean up. We all think it is going to turn out pretty good, for we have seen gold in the sand several times as we have carried it up in the pails."
The next day Tom went up with the others, the Indians remaining in camp. Two men now worked at the cradle, while the other three brought up the sand and gravel. Towards evening they began the work of cleaning up. No more stuff was brought up to the machine, but the water was still run into it. As fast as the shaking brought the rough gravel to the top it was removed, until only a foot of sand remained at the bottom. The water was now stopped and the sand dug out, and carefully washed in the pans by hand. At the bottom of each pan there remained after all the sand had been removed a certain amount of gold-dust, the quantity increasing as the bottom was approached. The last two panfuls contained a considerable amount.
"It does not look much," Tom said when the whole was collected together.
"It is heavy stuff, lad," Harry replied. "What do you think there is, Jerry? About twelve ounces, I should fancy."
"All that, Harry; nigher fourteen, I should think."
The pan was now put at the bottom of the cradle, a plug pulled out, and the quicksilver run into it. A portion of this was poured on wash-leather, the ends of which were held up by the men so as to form a bag. Harry took the leather, and holding it over another pan twisted it round and round. As the pressure on the quicksilver increased it ran through the pores of the leather in tiny streams, until at last a lump of pasty metal remained. This was squeezed again and again, until not a single globule of quicksilver passed through the leather. The ball, which was of the consistency of half-dried mortar was then taken out, and the process repeated again and again until the whole of the quicksilver had been passed through the leather. Six lumps of amalgam about the size of small hens' eggs remained.
"Is that good, uncle?" Tom asked.
"Very fair, lad; wonderfully good indeed, considering we have not got down far yet. I should say we shall get a pound and a half of gold out of it."
"But how does the gold get into it, uncle?"
"There is what is called an affinity between quicksilver and gold. The moment gold touches quicksilver it is absorbed by it, just as a drop of water is taken up by a lump of salt. It thickens the quicksilver, and as it is squeezed through the leather the quicksilver is as it were strained out, and what remains behind becomes thicker and thicker, until, as you see, it is almost solid. It is no good to use more pressure, for if you do a certain amount of the gold would be squeezed through the leather. You see, as the stuff in the cradle is shaken, the gold being heavier than the sand finds its way down to the bottom, and every particle that comes in contact with the quicksilver is swallowed up by it."
"And how do you get the quicksilver out of those lumps?"
"We put them in one of those clay crucibles you saw, with a pinch of borax, cover them up, and put them in a heap of glowing embers. That evaporates the quicksilver, and leaves the gold behind in the shape of a button." This was done that evening, and when the buttons were placed in the scales they just turned the two-pound weight.
"Well, boys, that is good enough for anything," Harry said. "That, with the dust, makes a pound a day, which is as good as the very best stuff in the early days of California."
They worked steadily for the next seven weeks. Contrary to their expectations the gravel was but little richer lower down than they had found it at the end of the first wash-up, but continued about equally good, and the result averaged about a pound weight of gold a day. This was put into little bags of deer-skin, each containing five pounds' weight, and these bags were distributed among the saddle-bags, so that in case of sudden disturbance there would be no risk of their being left behind. The Indians took it by turns to hunt; at other times they remained on guard in camp, Tom only staying when one of them was away. One day when the mining party stopped work, and sat down to eat some bread and cold meat,--which they had from the first brought up, so as to save them the loss of time entailed by going to the camp and back,--the report of a gun came upon their ears. All started to their feet and seized their rifles, and then stood listening intently. A minute later two more shots were heard at close intervals.
"Red-skins for sure!" Jerry exclaimed. "I thought as how our luck were too good to last." They started at a run down the little valley, and only paused when they reached its mouth. Harry then advanced cautiously until he could obtain a view of the main valley. He paused for a minute and then rejoined his companions.
"There are fifty of them," he said, "if there is one. They are Utes in their war-paint. They are a bit up the valley. I think if we make a rush we can get to the trees before they can cut us off."
"We must try anyhow," Sam Hicks said, "else they will get the two Indians and our horses and saddles and all. Just let us get breath for a moment, and then we will start."
"Keep close together as you run," Harry said, "and then if they do come up we can get back to back and make a fight of it." After a short pause they started. They had not gone twenty yards when a loud yell proclaimed that the Indians had seen them. They had, however, but three hundred yards to run, while the Utes were double that distance from the clump.
When the miners were within fifty yards of the trees two rifle-shots rang out, and two of the Utes, who were somewhat ahead of the rest; fell from their horses, while the rest swerved off, seeing that there was no hope of cutting the party off. A few more yards and the miners were among the trees.
"So the Utes have found us out, chief," Harry said as he joined Leaping Horse, who had just reloaded his ride.
"Must have tracked us. They are a war-party," the Seneca replied. "Hunter must have found tracks and taken news back to the villages."
"Well, we have got to fight for it, that is clear enough," Harry said. "Anyhow, now they see there are seven of us they are not likely to attack until it gets dark, so we have time to think over what had best be done. We had just begun our meal when we heard your shot, and the best thing we can do is to have a good feed at once. We may be too busy later on."
The chief said a word to the young Indian, and, leaving him on the watch, accompanied the others to the fire. They had scarcely sat down when Hunting Dog came up.
"More Utes," he said briefly, pointing across the valley.
They at once went to the outer line of trees. On the brow of the rise opposite were a party of horsemen between twenty and thirty strong.
"That shows they have learnt all about our position," Harry said. "Those fellows have been lying in wait somewhere over the hill to cut us off if we took to our horses on seeing the main body. Let us have a look the other side."
Crossing the clump of trees, they saw on the brow there another party of Utes.
"I reckon they must have crossed that valley we were working in just after we got through," Jerry said. "It is mighty lucky they did not come down on us while we were washing, for they could have wiped us all out before we had time to get hold of our guns. Well, Harry, we are in a pretty tight fix, with fifty of them up the valley and five-and-twenty or so on each side of us. We shall have to be dog-goned smart if we are to get out of this scrape."
"Hand me your rifle, Tom," his uncle said, "it carries farther than mine, and I will give those fellows a hint that they had best move off a bit."
Steadying his piece against a tree, he took a careful aim and fired. One of the Indians swerved in his saddle, and then fell forward on the neck of his horse, which turned and galloped off with the rest.
"Now we will have our meal and take council, chief," Harry said as he turned away. "If we have got to fight there is no occasion to fight hungry."
The fire was made up; there was no need to be careful now. Strips of deer's flesh were hung over it, and the meal was soon ready. But little was said while it was being eaten, then they all lighted their pipes and each put a pannikin of hot tea beside him.
"Now, chief," Harry said, "have you arrived at any way out of this? It is worse than it was the last time we got caught in this valley."
The chief shook his head. "No good fight here," he said; "when night come they creep up all round."
"Yes, I see that we have got to bolt, but the question is, how? If we were to ride they would ride us down, that is certain. Jerry and Tom might possibly get away, though that ain't likely. Their critters are good, but nothing downright extraordinary, and the chances are that some of the Utes have got faster horses than theirs. As for the rest of us, they would have us before we had ridden an hour."
"That ain't to be thought of," Jerry said. "It seems to me our best chance would be to leave the critters behind, and to crawl out the moment it gets dark, and try and get beyond them."
"They will close in as soon as it gets dark, Jerry. They will know well enough that that is the time we shall be moving. I reckon we should not have a chance worth a cent of getting through. What do you say, chief?"
Leaping Horse nodded in assent.
"Well, then," Sam Hicks said, "I vote we mount our horses and go right at them. I would rather do that and get rubbed out in a fair fight than lie here until they crawl up and finish us."
No one answered, and for some minutes they smoked on without a word being spoken, then Harry said:
"There is only one chance for us that I can see, and that is to mount now and to ride right down the valley. The chief says that in some places it is not more than fifty yards wide, with steep cliffs on each side, and we could make a much better fight there, for they could only attack us in front. There would be nothing for them then but to dismount and close in upon us from tree to tree, and we could make a running fight of it until we come to the mouth of the canon. There must be places there, that we ought to be able to hold with our seven rifles against the lot of them."
"Bully for you, Harry! I reckon that would give us a chance anyhow. That is, if we ain't cut off before we get to the wood."
"Let us have a look round and see what they are doing," Harry said. "Ah! here comes Hunting Dog. He will tell us all about it."
"Utes on hills all gone up and joined the others," the young Indian said as he came up.
"It could not be better news!" Harry exclaimed. "I reckon they have moved away to tempt us to make a start for the fort, for they know if we go that way they will have us all, sure. They have not reckoned on our riding down the valley, for they will be sure we must have found out long ago that there ain't any way out of it. Well, we had best lose no time. There is some meat ready, Hunting Dog, and you had best fill up while we get ready for a start."
The blankets and buffalo rugs were wrapped up and strapped behind the saddles, as soon as these were placed behind the horses. They had only a small quantity of meat left, as the chief was going out hunting the next morning, but they fastened this, and eighty pounds of flour that still remained, on to one of the pack-horses. They filled their powder-horns from the keg, and each put three or four dozen bullets into his holsters, together with all the cartridges for their pistols; the rest of the ammunition was packed on another horse. When all was completed they mounted.
"We may get a couple of hundred yards more start before we are seen," Harry said. "Anyhow, we have got five hundred yards, and may reckon on making the two miles to where the valley narrows before they catch us."
The instant, however, they emerged from the wood, two loud yells were heard from Indians who had been left lying down on watch at the top of the slopes on either side. Sam, who was the worst shot of the party, had volunteered to lead the string of pack-horses, while Ben was ready to urge them on behind.
"You may want to stop some of the leading varmint, and I should not be much good at that game, so I will keep straight on without paying any attention to them."
A loud answering yell rose from the Indians up the valley.
"We shall gain fifty yards or so before they are fairly in the saddle," Harry said as they went off at the top of their speed, the horses seeming to know that the loud war-cry boded danger. They had gone half a mile before they looked round. The Indians were riding in a confused mass, and were some distance past the grove the miners had left, but they still appeared as far behind as they had been when they started. Another mile and the mass had broken up; the best-mounted Indians had left the rest some distance behind, and considerably decreased the gap between them and the fugitives. Another five minutes and the latter reached the wood, that began just where the valley narrowed and the cliffs rose almost perpendicularly on each side. As soon as they did so they leapt from their horses, and each posting himself behind a tree opened fire at their pursuers, the nearest of whom were but two hundred yards away. Four fell to the first seven shots; the others turned and galloped back to the main body, who halted at once.
"They won't try a charge," Harry said; "it isn't in Indian nature to come across the open with the muzzles of seven rifles pointed at them. They will palaver now; they know they have got us in a trap, and they will wait till night. Now, chief, I reckon that you and I and Hunting Dog had best stay here, so that if they try, as they are pretty sure to do, to find out whether we are here still, we can give them a hint to keep off. The other four had better ride straight down the canon, and go on for a bit, to find out the best place for making a stand, and as soon as it is dark we will go forward and join them. There will be no occasion for us to hurry. I reckon the skunks will crawl up here soon after it is dark; but they won't go much farther, for we might hide up somewhere and they might miss us. In the morning they will come down on foot, sheltering behind the trees as much as they can, till at last they locate us."
The chief nodded his approval of the plan, and Tom and the three miners at once started, taking the pack-horses with them. On the way down they came upon a bear. Ben was about to fire, but Jerry said: "Best leave him alone, Ben; we are only three miles down, and these cliffs would echo the sound and the red-skins would hear it and know that some of us had gone down the valley, and might make a rush at once." In an hour and a half they came down to a spot where the valley, after widening out a good bit, suddenly terminated, and the stream entered a deep canon in the face of the wall of rock that closed it in.
"I reckon all this part of the valley was a lake once," Jerry said. "When it got pretty well full it began to run over where this canon is and gradually cut its way out down to the Colorado. I wonder how far it is to the river."
They had gone but a hundred yards down the canon when they came to a place where a recent fall of rocks blocked it up. Through these the stream, which was but a small one, made its way.
"There is a grist of water comes down here when the snow melts in the spring," Ben remarked. "You can see that the rocks are worn fifty feet up. Waal, I reckon this place is good enough for us, Jerry."
"I reckon so, too," the latter agreed. "It will be a job to get our horses over; but we have got to do it anyhow, if we have to carry them." The animals, however, managed to scramble up the rocks that filled the canon to the height of some thirty feet. The distance between the rock walls was not more than this in width.
"We could hold this place for a year," Ben said, "if they didn't take to chucking rocks down from above."
"Yes, that is the only danger," Jerry agreed; "but the betting is they could not get nigh enough to the edge to look down. Still, they might do it if the ground is level above; anyhow, we should not show much at this depth, for it is pretty dark down here, and the rocks must be seven or eight hundred feet high."
It was, indeed, but a narrow strip of sky that they saw as they looked up, and although still broad daylight in the valley they had left, it was almost dark at the bottom of the deep gorge, and became pitch dark as soon as the light above faded.
"The first job in the morning," Jerry said, "will be to explore this place down below. I expect there are places where it widens out. If it does, and there are trees and anything like grass, the horses can get a bite of food; if not, they will mighty soon go under, that is if we don't come upon any game, for if we don't we sha'n't be able to spare them flour."
"It is almost a pity we did not leave them in the valley to take their chance," Tom said.
"Don't you make any mistake," Jerry said. "In the first place they may come in useful to us yet, and even if we never get astride of them again they may come in mighty handy for food. I don't say as we mayn't get a bear if there are openings in the canon, or terraces where they can come down, but if there ain't it is just horse-meat we have got to depend on. Look here, boys, it is 'tarnal dark here; I can't see my own hand. I vote we get a light. There is a lot of drift-wood jammed in among the stones where we climbed up, that will do to start a fire, and I saw a lot more just at the mouth of this gap. We know the red-skins ain't near yet, so I vote we grope our way up and bring some down. It will be a first-rate thing, too, to make a bit of fire half-way between here and the mouth; that would put a stop to their crawling up, as they are like enough to try to do, to make out whereabouts we are. Of course we shall have to damp our own fire down if they come, else we should show up agin the light if we went up on the rock."
The others agreed at once, for it was dull work sitting there in the black darkness. All had matches, and a piece of dry fir was soon found. This was lighted, and served as a torch with which to climb over the rocks. Jammed in between these on the upper side was a large quantity of drift-wood. This was pulled out, made into bundles, and carried over the rock barrier, and a fire was soon blazing there. Then taking a brand and two axes they went up to the mouth of the gorge, cut up the arms of some trees that had been brought down by the last floods and left there as the water sank. The greater part of these were taken down to their camping-place; the rest, with plenty of small wood to light them, were piled halfway between the barrier and the mouth of the canon, and were soon blazing brightly.
They were returning to their camping-place, when Ben exclaimed that he heard the sound of horses' hoofs. All stopped to listen.
"There are not more than three of them," Ben said, "and they are coming along at a canter. I don't expect we shall hear anything of the red-skins until tomorrow morning."
They heard the horses enter the canon, then Jerry shouted: "Are you all right, Harry?"
"Yes; the red-skins were all quiet when we came away. Why, where are you?" he shouted again when he came up to the fire.
"A hundred yards farther on I will show you a light."
Two or three blazing brands were brought up. Harry and the Indians had dismounted at the first fire, and now led their horses up to the stone barrier.
"What on arth have you lit that other fire for, Jerry?" Harry asked as he stopped at the foot of the barrier.
"Because we shall sleep a dog-goned sight better with it there. As like as not they may send on two or three young warriors to scout. It is as black as a wolf's mouth, and we might have sat listening all night, and then should not have heard them. But with that fire there they dare not come on, for they would know they could not pass it without getting a bullet in them."
"Well, it is a very good idea, Jerry; I could not think what was up when I got there and did not see anybody. I see you have another fire over the other side. I could make it out clear enough as we came on."
"It will burn down a bit presently," Jerry said. "I should not try to get those horses up here now, Harry. It was a bad place to come up in daylight, and like enough they would break their legs if they tried it now. They will do just as well there as they would on this side, and you can get them over as soon as the day breaks."
"I would rather get them over, Jerry; but I see it is a pretty rough place."
Leaving the horses, Harry and the Indians climbed over the barrier, and were soon seated with the others round their fire, over which the meat was already frizzling.
"So the Indians kept quiet all the afternoon, Harry?"
"As quiet as is their nature. Two or three times some of them rode down, and galloped backwards and forwards in front of us to make out if we were there. Each time we let them fool about for a good long spell, and then when they got a bit careless sent them a ball or two to let them know we were still there. Hunting Dog went with the three horses half a mile down the valley soon after you had gone, so that they might not hear us ride off.
"As soon as it began to get dusk we started. We had to come pretty slow, for it got so dark under the trees we could not make out the trunks, and had to let the horses pick their own way. But we knew there was no hurry, for they would not follow till morning, though of course their scouts would creep up as soon as it was dark, and wouldn't be long before they found out that we had left."
"I reckon they will all come and camp in the wood and wait for daylight before they move, though I don't say two or three scouts may not crawl down to try and find out where we are. They will move pretty slow, for they will have to pick their way, and will know well enough that if a twig cracks it will bring bullets among them. I reckon they won't get here under four or five hours. It is sartin they won't try to pass that fire above. As soon as they see us they will take word back to the others, and we shall have the whole lot down here by morning."
"We shall have to get the horses over, the first thing. Two of us had best go down, as soon as it is light enough to ride without risking our necks, to see what the canon is like below."
"Yes, that is most important, Jerry; there may be some break where the red-skins could get down, and so catch us between two fires."
"I don't care a red cent for the Utes," Jerry said. "We can lick them out of their boots in this canon. What we have been thinking of, is whether there is some place where the horses can get enough to keep them alive while we are shut up here. If there is game, so much the better; if there ain't, we have got to take to horseflesh."
"How long do you suppose that the Indians are likely to wait when they find that they can't get at us?" Tom asked.
"There ain't no sort of saying," his uncle replied. "I reckon no one ever found out yet how long a red-skin's patience will last. Time ain't nothing to them. They will follow up this canon both sides till they are sartin that there ain't no place where a man can climb up. If there ain't, they will just squat in that valley. Like enough they will send for their lodges and squaws and fix themselves there till winter comes, and even then they might not go. They have got wood and water. Some of them will hunt and bring in meat, which they will dry for the winter; and they are just as likely to stay here as to go up to their villages."
A vigilant watch was kept up all night, two of them being always on guard at the top of the barrier. As soon as morning broke, the three horses were got over, and half an hour later Harry and Sam Hicks rode off down the canon, while the others took their places on guard, keeping themselves well behind the rocks, between which they looked out. They had not long to wait, for an Indian was seen to dart rapidly across the mouth of the canon. Two rifles cracked out, but the Indian's appearance and disappearance was so sudden and quick that they had no reason to believe that they had hit him.
"They will know now that we are here, and are pretty wide awake," Ben said. "You may be sure that he caught sight of these rocks."
A minute or two later several rifles flashed from among the fallen stones at the mouth of the gorge.
"Keep your eyes open," Jerry said, "and when you see the slightest movement, fire. But don't do it unless you feel certain that you make out a head or a limb. We've got to show the Utes that it is sartin death to try and crawl up here."
Almost immediately afterwards a head appeared above the stones, the chief's rifle cracked, and at the same instant the head disappeared.
"Do you think you got him, chief?"
"Think so, not sure. Leaping Horse does not often miss his mark at two hundred yards."
Almost directly afterwards Tom fired. An Indian sprang to his feet and bounded away.
"What did you fire at, Tom?"
"I think it was his arm and shoulder," Tom replied. "I was not sure about it, but I certainly saw something move."
"I fancy you must have hit him, or he would not have got up. Waal, now I reckon we are going to have quiet for a bit. They must have had a good look at the place while they were lying there, and must have seen that it air too strong for them. I don't say they mayn't come on again tonight--that they may do, but I think it air more likely they won't try it. They would know that we should be on the watch, and with seven rifles and Colts we should account for a grist of them afore they got over. What do you say, chief?"
"Not come now," the Indian said positively. "Send men first along top see if can get down. Not like come at night; the canons of the Colorado very bad medicine, red-skins no like come into them. If no way where we can get up, then Utes sit down to starve us."
"That will be a longish job, chief. A horse a week will keep us for three months."
"If no food for horse, horse die one week."
"So they will, chief. We must wait till Harry comes back, then we shall know what our chances are."
It was six hours before Harry and Sam returned. There was a shout of satisfaction from the men when they saw that they had on their saddles the hind-quarters of a bear.
"Waal, what is the news, Harry?"
"It ain't altogether good, Ben. It goes down like this for about twelve miles, then it widens out sudden. It gets into a crumbly rock which has got worn away, and there is a place maybe about fifty yards wide and half a mile long, with sloping sides going up a long way, and then cliff all round. The bottom is all stones; there are a few tufts of coarse grass growing between them. On the slopes there are some bushes, and on a ledge high up we made out a bear. We had two or three shots at him, and at last brought him down. There may be more among the bushes; there was plenty of cover for them."
"There was no place where there was a chance of getting up, Harry?"
"Nary a place. I don't say as there may not be, but we couldn't see one." "But the bear must have got down."
"No. He would come down here in the dry season looking for water-holes, and finding the place to his liking he must have concluded to settle there. It is just the place a bear would choose, for he might reckon pretty confident that there weren't no chance of his being disturbed. Well, we went on beyond that, and two miles lower the canon opened again, and five minutes took us down on to the bank of the Colorado. There was no great room between the river and the cliff, but there were some good-sized trees there, and plenty of bush growing up some distance. We caught sight of another bear, but as we did not want him we left him alone."
"Waal, let us have some b'ar-meat first of all," Jerry said. "We finished our meat last night, and bread don't make much of a meal, I reckon. Anyhow we can all do with another, and after we have done we will have a talk. We know what to expect now, and can figure it up better than we could before."
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