It is a fair specimen of
scores of similar entries.
'JUNE 24TH. - My morning watch. Up at 1 A.M. Roused the men
at 3.30. Off at 7.30. Rained hard all day. Packs slipped
or kicked off eighteen times before halt. Men grumbling.
Nelson and Jim both too ill to work. When adjusting pack,
Nelson and Louis had a desperate quarrel. Nelson drew his
knife and nearly stabbed Louis. I snatched a pistol out of
my holster, and threatened to shoot Nelson unless he shut up.
Fred, of course, laughed obstreperously at the notion of my
committing murder, which spoilt the dramatic effect.
'Oh! these devils of mules! After repacking, they rolled,
they kicked and bucked, they screamed and bit, as though we
were all in Hell, and didn't know it. It took four men to
pack each one; and the moment their heads were loosed, away
they went into the river, over the hills, and across country
as hard as they could lay legs to ground. It was a cheerful
sight! - the flour and biscuit stuff swimming about in the
stream, the hams in a ditch full of mud, the trailed pots and
pans bumping and rattling on the ground until they were as
shapeless as old wide-awakes. And, worst of all, the pack-
saddles, which had delayed us a week to make - nothing now
but a bundle of splinters.
'25TH. - What a night! A fearful storm broke over us.
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