In A Word, The Captain Was Beguiling The Tediousness
Of Attendance At Court, By An Attempt At Authorship; And Was
Rewriting And Extending His Travelling Notes, And Making Maps Of
The Regions He Had Explored.
As he sat at the table, in this
curious apartment, with his high bald head of somewhat foreign
cast, he reminded me of some of those antique pictures of authors
that I have seen in old Spanish volumes.
The result of his labors was a mass of manuscript, which he
subsequently put at my disposal, to fit it for publication and
bring it before the world. I found it full of interesting details
of life among the mountains, and of the singular castes and
races, both white men and red men, among whom he had sojourned.
It bore, too, throughout, the impress of his character, his
bonhommie, his kindliness of spirit, and his susceptibility to
the grand and beautiful.
That manuscript has formed the staple of the following work. I
have occasionally interwoven facts and details, gathered from
various sources, especially from the conversations and journals
of some of the captain's contemporaries, who were actors in the
scenes he describes. I have also given it a tone and coloring
drawn from my own observation, during an excursion into the
Indian country beyond the bounds of civilization; as I before
observed, however, the work is substantially the narrative of the
worthy captain, and many of its most graphic passages are but
little varied from his own language.
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