III

 

From about this point, as I remember it, there was a change in our lives, that is, the lives of smaller boys. We were now big enough to begin to ride real horses – old, gentle ones, of course, but real horses just the same and of course the stick horse was a thing of the past. In after life I put in many years riding on the range, and rode all sorts of horses, good, bad, wild, and gentle. And I look back on those years as happy ones, even though there were many hardships connected, necessarily, with such a life. But (and I say it in all seriousness) the joys of riding real horses were tame compared to the joys of riding broncos freshly cut from a willow bush.

 

After Father came home from his trip to Salt Lake, he was pretty busy with the work about the ranch, getting things to rights and clearing some land of brush and stumps.

 

He was not a good hand at ranch work, and usually went at a job in a way to make the hardest possible work of it. We children went to school at the little schoolhouse I have described, and helped Father mornings and evenings and also Saturdays, with the work on the ranch. We had from six to eight months of school each year, but the schools were not graded then. Each new teacher we got tried us out as best he could after inquiring of each boy or girl where they had been in their studies the previous term, and, as I remember it, frequently started us in away back behind where we had been during the previous term. Of course, the country schools such as we had were very crude and poorly managed, at best. Some of the teachers we had would have been much better farm laborers than they were teachers.

However, when I was ten years of age I had to quit school, to look after a band of sheep and goats we had. Previous to this the sheep and goats had roamed over the hills at will, and the only care we had with them was to see that they were corralled at night. But about this time they failed to come in one night, and in the morning there were eight head missing. Father and brother Charley rode out and found the eight head dead, where they had been killed by wild animals. Father was greatly worried over this loss, and said that they would have to be herded by one of the boys from now on. I do not remember just how it was decided, but I was the one selected to look after the sheep and goats for the rest of the school term. Uncle Robert said it was probably a mountain lion that had killed the goats, and Mother was greatly worried lest I should be carried off by it. Uncle Robert, however, assured me there would be no danger of the lion’s bothering me.

 

To most people now, it would seem as if a boy of ten was pretty small to be carrying a double-barreled shotgun but I had been shooting one for a year or two and was considered a pretty good shot. I think this more than anything else was what caused Father to decide to put the sheep and goats in my charge. I remember as if it were yesterday his deciding that “Johnny” was the one to take charge of the sheep and goats. For my part, I felt greatly honored to be selected for the job. I remember how Father helped me load one barrel of the old muzzle-loading shotgun with six pistol bullets and the other barrel with bird shot. I was told that I could shoot the barrel that was loaded with bird shot at quail or rabbits, as often as I pleased, but must always have the right hand barrel that was loaded with the thirty-six caliber pistol bullets, in reserve to be used only on some animal that was attacking the sheep or goats. Mother worried a great deal for fear of my being carried off by a mountain lion, but I considered myself greatly honored by being selected for this job, while the other boys had to go to school. I remember I thought Mother very foolish, to be worrying about me being carried off by any kind of a wild animal while I was so well armed, and in my opinion, so well able to look after myself.

 

I often think now how I would worry if my boy, who is eleven years old and very large for his age, were out in the hills under like conditions. But then I felt greatly honored in being selected for such an important position, while my brothers had to go to school. I had a small Scotch terrier that went by the name of Leach. (The man we got him from had named him Leach because he was so much like a little lawyer of that name, who practiced in the San Diego courts in those days and was always spoiling for a fight.) To say that Leach would fight his weight in wild-cats was putting it very mild. (I am now speaking of Leach, the Scotch terrier.) I have seen him fight several times his weight in wild-cats, and wild -cats were glad of a chance to call the fight off, too, the minute they got a chance to do so. Leach had been trained by someone who had owned him before we did, as a hunting dog. And he was as good a retriever as I have ever seen. In those days there were quail by the thousand in this part of the country, and it was an easy matter to kill a few dozen.

 

The old muzzle-loading shotguns we had were so bad to scatter the shot that we could not depend on their killing anything with birdshot at a greater distance than twenty-five yards. We did not try to shoot game on the wing very often. We used to think that we must get at least three quail at a shot. Less than three at a shot was considered simply throwing ammunition away. Five or six at a shot was considered doing very well, and eight to twelve was an unusually good shot. I once killed nineteen quail with a shot from one barrel of a number twelve shotgun. In all the hundreds of times that I have fired into large flocks of quail this was the only time I ever killed anywhere near that number. I think twelve was the best I had ever done at any other shot, although I have got that number a good many times. I have no doubt there are many people who would find it hard to believe that quail were ever so plentiful in this part of the country that a mere boy could kill a dozen at a shot with the poor guns we had in those days. But any “old-timer” will tell you that to say you could see quail by the thousand would be putting it mildly. Then there are the so-called true sportsmen who will only shoot at his quail when it is on the wing, and who will tell you that it was wanton destruction of game to shoot at quail on the ground. The same true sportsman will go out and shoot at every quail that flies up, whether it is in range of his gun or not, and will wound far more quail than he will kill, in all probability.

 

When we went hunting as boys, with our old muzzle-loading guns, we allowed many coveys to fly away before we got what we thought was a good chance to make a pot-shot. And I doubt if we wounded one quail where the so-called true sportsman wounded three. We seldom hunted merely for the sport there was in it, either, but rather with the idea of getting something to supply the home table with meat. And where there were from eight to ten people at the table as there were in our family, a dozen or two quail did not last long.

 

But I started to tell you about my little dog Leach as a retriever. When he would see me getting the gun and ammunition ready, he knew there was a hunt on. And he would be so excited and so anxious to start that he would be shivering all over. When I finally shouldered my gun and started out, Leach would take his place about three feet behind my heels, and maintain that position through brush or cactus or over any other kind of ground. His watchful little eyes were on me all the time, and when he saw me stoop to sneak up on a covey of quail, he would slink down until his little belly was almost on the ground and fairly crawl along. The instant the gun cracked he would dash ahead, all excitement, and if there were any wounded quail, that is quail with wing broken but still able to run with great swiftness, Leach would make it his business to attend to the catching of these, and allow me to pick up the ones that were dead. If there were several wounded birds he would rush after one, seize it in his little mouth and hurry proudly back to me with it, and as soon as I had taken it from him, he would rush off after another and come tearing back with it. Then when we had apparently gotten all that were killed or wounded gathered up, he would make several rounds all about the spot to see if there were any more wounded birds hiding in the weeds or bushes. And he would frequently come proudly back with another quail in his mouth after I had supposed we had all that had been killed or wounded. As soon as I started on he would take his position at my heels again, ready to dash out at the next shot. I have seen many fine hunting dogs since then – Pointers, Setters, and various other kinds, but I am sure I have never seen a better or more faithful one than the little Scotch terrier whose name was Leach. If I happened to be out without my gun, Leach would chase around through the bushes just as other dogs usually do, driving out rabbits and occasionally catching a ground squirrel or some other small game, but when I had my gun he knew his place and kept it – right at my heels.

One very foggy morning, I was letting my flock of sheep and goats feed along through the bushes on a hillside, when suddenly I saw only a few yards ahead of me a large wildcat or bobcat wrestling with a half-grown goat, and trying to drag it down. I had my double-barreled shotgun with the one barrel loaded with thirty-six caliber pistol bullets and the other barrel loaded with number seven shot for quail or rabbits. Instead of shooting at once, as I suppose I should have done, which would have probably killed both goat and wildcat, I rushed in shouting at it, but with my gun ready to shoot it the instant it separated itself from the goat. At about this stage of the game, however, Leach suddenly rushed past me and leaped onto the cat. Before I had been afraid to shoot for fear of killing the goat, and now I could not shoot for fear of killing my faithful little dog.

 

The big wildcat was far bigger than Leach, but what has size got to do with it when a Scotch terrier sees a prospect for a fight? All I could see was a rolling mass of dog and wildcat clinched in deadly combat and before I could do anything they were rolling down the steep hillside under some thick brush. I rushed down through the brush as fast as I could in an attempt to get to them in time to save my little dog’s life as I thought the big wildcat would surely kill him. But the scrub oak brush was so thick that it was very hard for me to break my way through. By the time I got down to where I could see the fight again, the wildcat had evidently had all the fight he wanted for just then he managed to break loose and dashed away down the hill with Leach in hot pursuit. I had to rush back to round up my flock as they had been greatly frightened by the cat attacking one of their number. I got them rounded up and quieted down again and after a while Leach came back up out of the brushy canyon in an awfully exhausted condition. I rushed to him to see if he was badly hurt. There was a good deal of blood around his head and I could see that he had a number of scratches on his nose and ears but when I turned him on his back his little belly was a perfect mass of long scratches from the big cat’s claws. Every wound on him however, was proof that he had kept his face to the foe. There were no wounds on his back.

While herding the sheep and goats I used to put in a good deal of time making various things especially things to be used in hunting, such as powder horns and braiding cords for slinging the powder horns and shot horns over my shoulders. Father had made me a standing offer of a dollar for every coyote or wildcat I might kill. As money was something very scarce with us boys in those days, I had great hopes that someday I might really kill a coyote or wildcat. I am quite sure however, that the dollar reward, though very alluring, was not half so much of an incentive as the hope of bringing home a coyote or cat that I had killed myself. I remember one day I was sitting in the shade of a bush busily scraping on a powder horn that I was making when I heard the goat bell jingle as it does when they start on a run. My gun was lying right beside me. I raised up to see what was frightening the goats when a big coyote ran past within two or three yards of me. He was headed straight for the goats and had not heard or seen me as I sat in the shade of the bush. I made a jump for my gun, but he evidently heard me, for before I could get out where I could have taken a shot at him, he was out of range and going like a streak. I had sat for hours on many occasions hoping a coyote would come up within range of my gun, and now just when I was off my guard he had come and caught me napping. For several weeks immediately after that it would have been a hard matter for any animal to have come within range of my gun without my seeing it.

 

One day in the late afternoon, when my flock was just starting out to feed, after lying in the shade near the water during the heat of the day, I happened to glance down to the westward and saw what I thought was a coyote coming up among some low brush and tall weeds. He was coming directly towards me, and was evidently intending to sneak up on the goats and sheep that were feeding on the opposite side of me from where he was. He had evidently not noticed me yet, and I could only get an occasional glimpse of him as he came through the low brush. There was an old dry willow stump, probably eighteen inches in diameter, and about four feet high, standing on the bank of the creek very close to where I was. I very quietly slipped around behind this stump and rested my gun on it, while I waited for him to come within range. He had disappeared from my view at about this time because the low brush through which he was approaching was a little taller where he now was and completely hid him from view. Suddenly he came out of the tall weeks and brush at a distance of about sixty or seventy yards from me and to my surprise I saw that it was not a coyote, nor a wildcat, for it was much longer and larger than one of these animals. I immediately decided it was a mountain lion, though I had never seen one before. It was of the cat kind, and had a long tail. As soon as I had decided that it was a lion, I concluded that he was about near enough—though he would undoubtedly have come on up to within a few yards of me if I had kept still and not disturbed him, for what breeze there was coming directly from him to me, so he could not have scented me. However, he was near enough and I decided to let him know that I was there, so taking a deliberate aim I gave him the contents of the barrel of my gun that was loaded with pistol bullets. I suppose if I had left him come up to within about half the distance that he was when I fired I would have killed him. But as it was, at the crack of my gun he whirled around and the low brush and weeds that had hidden him most of the time as he was approaching had no such effect as he retreated. He fairly bounded over the brush, and was soon out of sight in the big tall brush that grew a few hundred yards farther to the west.

 

I immediately drove my flock up near the house and went in and told the family of having shot at a lion. Mother was greatly worried for fear the lion would get me instead of a goat or sheep. Uncle Robert came over to our place that afternoon, and when he was told of what I had seen advised me to keep a dog with me all the time while out herding, as he said a lion would never come near where a dog was. Uncle had been in this country since 1851, and had been riding in the hills and mountains after stock all that time, so he was quite familiar with the habits of the wild animals of this part of the world. I went on as usual, herding the sheep and goats, and never saw the lion again. In fact, for the next thirty years I rode over the hills and mountains of this country after stock and have never seen another lion in its wild state. However, only a year or so after I saw this fellow, two lions were poisoned by a man who lived about five or six miles southwest of our place.

 

This man had settled on a very brushy ranch with the idea of engaging in the bee business. He built a small cabin in a little piece of cleared ground that was surrounded by brushy hills on all sides. He had two fine mares with young colts. These colts were sired by a very fine horse and the owner valued them very highly. He went out to feed his mares one morning and one of the colts was missing. After hunting all about the place and not finding it, he concluded that it had either been stolen by someone who knew of its fine breeding, or else that it had followed someone’s team off, as the county road passed near his cabin. I think it was the second morning after he found the first colt missing that the other colt was also gone. He then noticed a mark on the ground leading away from where the mares were tied and going out into the tall brush. He followed this trail and soon found not only the last colt that was missing, but the remains of the first one, too. The remains of both colts were covered with sticks and leaves when he found them. He then knew that some wild animal had killed and dragged them out there. Without disturbing the leaves and sticks that covered them any more than he could possibly avoid doing, he cut slits in the flesh and put in a liberal amount of strychnine. The next morning he went out to the spot and found two mountain lions lying dead, with their paws resting on one of the dead colts. In later years we lost a number of colts by their being killed by lions while we had our horses up in the mountains between Fallbrook and Temecula. In fact, the lions killed every colt there was in the herd. One of the mares, who was the mother of one of the colts that was killed, also had some deep scratches on her, that she evidently got while trying to defend the colt. The man whom we had in charge of the horses, borrowed some hounds of a man who lived at Temecula and brought them to his camp, fully expecting to tree the lion. The hounds, however, were not trained to hunt such big game, and utterly refused to follow their track. In fact, he said the poor dogs were so frightened when he put them on the tracks where he had seen the lion but a few minutes before that they would do nothing but tuck their tails between their legs and howl. So he took them back to their owner in disgust.

The mountain lion evidently does practically all his traveling and hunting by night, and for that reason people very rarely get to see him.

 

The wildcat or bobcat is another animal that sheep raisers have to reckon with. I remember very well indeed how my father used to count the sheep, and especially the lambs, every morning, as they came out of the corral. It was in the early springtime when the lambs were nice and fat. He would say, “Johnnie, there is a lamb missing. You must be more watchful. The coyotes are getting them.” That day I watched the herd very closely and saw no sign of coyotes. The herd always runs when a coyote comes near, and the bell jingling would tell me at once that something was wrong. But nothing of that kind had occurred, I was sure. That evening Father counted the lambs, and there was another one missing. He was sure, then, that I must be neglecting my job. But I assured him I was not. This went on for several days. I had not been carrying a gun for some time as sheep with lambs require a good deal of extra care, and sometimes I had to carry home one or two young lambs, so the gun was much in my way on such occasions. My little dog Leach was getting old, and did not feel able to follow me much of the time.

 

One morning, after perhaps a half-dozen lambs had been taken, at the rate of one per day, two old dogs that we called “Smith” and “Sallie” went with me. Along in the late afternoon the lambs were playing on the banks of some deep gulches that ran off into a brushy canyon. I was sitting reading a book that I had with me, when the two dogs started up and ran barking down the hill towards where the lambs were playing. Of course, that frightened all the sheep and they came running at a great rate up out of the gulches. When I got down to the foot of the hill, I found the dogs barking under a clump of mountain mahogany. Of course, I knew they had something “treed” and when I got close to where they were whining and barking, I could see an unusually large wildcat sitting quietly in the top of the clump of mahogany. I knew, of course, that he would stay there as long as the dogs stayed under the tree, but if I went home for my gun, the dogs would probably leave him and come home with me. If I had only had a string of some kind to tie a dog under the tree, the game would be there when I returned, without a doubt. But I had no string or rope of any kind. I knew now that this was the fellow who had been taking a lamb every day for the past week, and I was bound that he should not get away. I puzzled my brains trying to plan some way of getting word home, but for a long time could think of no way of doing so without running the risk of letting the cat escape – and I would not take that chance under any condition. My! but I did wish that I had my gun. If it had not been for the fear of the coyotes killing a lot of the sheep and lambs, I believe I would have stayed right there with the dogs until someone came to the rescue. But under the circumstances that plan would not do. Finally an idea struck me. I had a small bag in which I carried my lunch, made from part of a flour sack. It was made like a game bag, only smaller, and I carried it slung by a strip of the same material as the bag was made of. I immediately tore the bag into strips, and by tying the strips together, I soon had two strings long enough to tie the two dogs under the tree. This done, I struck out double-quick for home. I was very much afraid, however, that the dogs might want to try and follow me, and they would bite the strings off and leave the wildcat. So as soon as I came in sight of the house I decided to go no further, but try to attract the attention of Father and a Mexican, who were hauling out manure from the corrals, and putting it on the ground in the orchard.

 

I was up on the brow of a high hill south of the house, and the distance to the house was about a half-mile. I began shouting, and Mother immediately heard me, and called to the men, telling them there was something wrong, and that I was needing help. Father left the team with the Mexican and started to come to me, but I could see that he had not understood me when I had shouted for him to bring a gun. I finally got him to understand that I had a wildcat treed, and he went back and got a gun. The Mexican, Jesus Orosco, also came up. He asked in Spanish where the wildcat was. When I told him that it was a half-mile or more back up the canon he gave a contemptuous sniff and said, “Oh he go long time now.” I said, “No, the dogs will keep him in the tree.” “Oh, you leave dog? That all right then.”

Father in his hurry had brought a miserable old shotgun with little light loads for shooting rabbits in the cactus, where they were only a few feet distant. And he had brought no extra ammunition. I told him he should have brought the gun I usually carried, and which was loaded in one barrel with pistol bullets. He said, “Oh, this will kill him at such close range.”

 

When we got back to the tree the big cat was still sitting peacefully in the top of it. I went in under it and untied the dogs before Father attempted to shoot him. Then Father stepped up to within some ten feet of the tree and fired. The cat gave a lunge as if to jump out, and then settled peacefully in his old position. The Mexican made a remark about an “Escopeta no vale nada.” (The shotgun is good for nothing.) Father cocked the other barrel and gave him that, with exactly the same result. It did not seem to faze him. With a few more uncomplimentary remarks about the gun, the Mexican picked up a stone that would probably weigh about six or eight pounds, and, walking around to the uphill side of the tree, and where he was standing almost on a level with the cat, he threw the stone, striking the cat with terrific force. The big fellow gave a sort of whining growl, as the big stone struck him, and leaped from the tree. He landed fully twenty feet away from the root of it, and started down the gulch with the dogs at his heels.

 

We all rushed down the canyon a short distance, to find the dogs barking and scratching at the entrance to a big sink hole. The wildcat had gone in there. These sink holes are made by the rain during heavy storms. The running water evidently finding an underground opening (probably a gopher hole) which it washes out until it is large enough for a good-sized animal to go through. This sink hole had two openings, as they usually have, probably twelve feet apart – one where the water had entered, and one where it had come out.

 

We immediately stationed ourselves so as to guard both openings. We could hear the wildcat growling and snarling as the dogs barked and clawed, sometimes at one end and sometimes at the other end of the hole. Father left the Mexican and me to see that the cat did not escape, while he went home and got the other gun. He also brought a pick and a shovel, with the idea of digging him out. Jesus said it would be easy to drive him out by putting a fire at one end of the hole and letting the smoke blow through. Father agreed with him in this, so I took my stand with the gun at a point where I could command both openings, and ready to shoot if he should come out. Father and Jesus carried a lot of dry wood, and soon had a roaring fire at one end of the hole. The smoke came through like it was coming out of a smokestack, but no cat came out. We could still hear him growling in there. Then Father and Jesus went to digging. They worked perhaps a half an hour, but the ground was so hard that they made little headway. Then we made a fire at both ends of the hole, but still he would not come out. Finally Father said, “Let’s shut him in at both ends with dirt and so smother him.” This they did, much to my disappointment, for I thought if we do not actually get him there will be very little glory in the job – besides, I didn’t see how I was going to get a dollar for a cat that we did not really get.

 

Well, it was dark by the time we got the hole thoroughly tamped with dirt at both ends. The sheep had gone home long before this, and had been shut in the corral by the womenfolk of the family. We went home tired and hungry, and I can testify to one member of the party being very much disappointed. It seemed to me as if the wildcat had gotten away, for we did not bring home the remains. I think it was on Thursday that all this took place. Father told me the next morning that we would go over to the place on Sunday morning and if the wildcat had not dug out by that time he would consider him dead and pay me the dollar reward. Well, we went over at the appointed time, and found everything just as we had left it. So Father took out a silver dollar that looked as big as a cartwheel to me, and presented me with it.

 

There were no more lambs missing for a long time, and we all knew that we had gotten the fellow that had been taking them. He had doubtless lain in waiting every afternoon in the dry gulch and when the lambs came there to play, had pounced upon one and carried it off without frightening the main herd in the least.

 

It was not very long after this that Father hired an Indian boy to herd the sheep and goats, and I have never done that sort of work since. We gradually increased our herd of cattle and I think it was in 1883 that we sold the sheep and goats, and never had any of that kind of stock afterwards. I was surely glad when we got rid of them, for they made lots of disagreeable work for us boys. However after Father got the Indian boy to do the herding, my brother Will and I who had taken turns tending the flock for the last several years, got a better chance to go to school.

 

Father had built on a shed kitchen on the south side of the house shortly after he came home from Salt Lake. And a few years later had built on a sort of two story addition on the north end. The shed had no windows in either the north or east sides, but it did have a small half-window in the west side of the upper room where we boys slept, and a full window in the west side of the lower room. There was a small flower garden about twenty feet long and eight feet wide along the east side, fenced in with rough pickets. In this, the women of the family raised a few flowers and shrubs.

 

The boards on the kitchen were put on horizontally and the lumber of which it was made was of the roughest pine and not lapped like siding but merely nailed around on upright posts. There was some attempt to nail battens over some of the cracks, but, as the reader probably knows, battens nailed over horizontal cracks do very little good, as far as keeping out the rain is concerned.

 

The rooms at the north end were made of one-by-six inch boards nailed on up and down, and never had any battens over the cracks at all. You may be sure that we had plenty of ventilation in stormy weather, without opening any doors or windows. An open stairway led from the entry or porch to the upper rooms of this addition, and the winter wind could howl up this stairway with no hindrance whatever. This part of the house had a good shingle roof, so that the only rain that could bother us was what beat in through the cracks in the sides. It seems now as if people would freeze in such a house, but we grew up a pretty husky lot, and apparently were none the worse for living in that way.

 

In January 1882 we had a very unusual storm. It was on the twelfth of the month that we had a snow storm that not only reached clear to the coast, here in San Diego County, but snowed out on Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands. The native Californians, who were all old men and women, had never seen anything like it before. The season up to that time had been very dry indeed. Practically no rain had fallen and it looked like we were in for a real old-fashioned dry year. On the eleventh of January a cold dry wind blew from the northwest. My brother Will and I were out that day with a bunch of men helping survey a road between Escondido and the coast. We did not go prepared for cold weather, as it was not blowing when we started. I did not even wear a coat or a vest. After we got up on a ridge where we were to begin work, the cold northwest wind began to blow. It was a very disagreeable day for this part of the world. But there was no sign of rain in sight that day. Just a cold dry wind and everything so dry that the dust was flying so you could hardly see. The next morning when we got up the sky was all overcast with heavy clouds and some drops of rain were falling. While we were eating our breakfast Mother went to the window and on looking out remarked with great surprise that it was snowing. Father said, “Snowing, be hanged.” But Mother said, “I have seen enough snow in my time to know it when I see it.”

 

We all rushed to the windows, and sure enough it was falling in large flakes. We children were delighted to see anything so strange – for snow was something we had never seen before in this part of the country. The snow fell more or less all day, but did not stay on the ground long before it melted. Towards evening it turned to sleet and the weather grew colder. The next morning the hills about the ranch were all white, and every gulch was filled with snow and sleet.

 

When we went up on the hills, where we could see the country towards the mountains, everything to the east of us was buried deep in snow. And looking out to sea the Islands of San Clemente and Santa Catalina were white just as we had often seen the high mountains to the east of us, where snow in the wintertime is a common occurrence.

 

There were a great many sheep lost the night of the snow storm. One sheep man, whose camp was out in Rose Canyon, had thirty-two hundred head in his corral, and the next morning sixteen hundred were dead. Many other sheep men lost almost as heavily.

 

The trees, too, were badly broken, as they had grown up in a climate where snow was unknown before this time, and they were not accustomed to have such weight on them.

We learned afterwards that this was a freak storm that drifted across from Kansas, burying the entire western part of the United States in snow. On some of the higher hills (such as those just south of the San Marcos Valley, on which we had never seen snow before) there was snow to be seen for two weeks after the storm. It is now thirty-nine years since that storm, and we have never seen anything like it since.

 

The summer of 1882 we built a new house at the ranch. It was built of “adobe”, or sun-dried brick. The house was thirty feet wide and forty feet long, and two stories high. The foundation was of stone, three feet thick. The walls of the lower story were twenty inches thick, and the walls of the second story were eighteen inches thick. There were eight rooms, besides halls, pantry, etc. The partition walls were ten inches thick for the lower story, and nine for the second.

 

The “adobes” were made by contract at the rate of twelve dollars per thousand. (By McKellar of Cocktail Springs Stage Station) We had a carpenter to do the wood work, and a mason to lay the stone and the adobes. All the other work, such as digging the trenches for the foundation, hauling the stone and adobes, and mixing the mortar for laying them was done by my brothers, Charles and Will, and myself. The adobes for the lower story were twenty inches long, ten inches wide, and four inches thick. For the second story they were eighteen inches long, nine inches wide, and four inches thick. The building of this house was a hard summer’s work but after it was built we had a very comfortable home.