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front of his regiment, with a ball'through the bravest forehead that ever faced friend or foe. Go, noble bull! I cannot shoot! I wish I had not slain thy brother!
The wounded buffalo ran on to the border of the next wet draw, troubling us little to keep up with him, and in attempting to cross fell headlong down the steep, oozy bank, and never rose again. Not till that moment, when courage was useless forever, did faithful Achates drop from the side of his ^Eneas, and consider his own safety in flight. We took off our hats to him as he walked sullenly away, and gave three cordial cheers to his departing form as it vanished beyond the fringing timber.
Having cut off the hump and the tongue of our game, we continued our way to camp, reaching it after about four miles' further travel. Persons desiring to know how I was received, will please consult "The Lost Heir," T. Hood author. Next to having thought your friend dead, and found out you were correct, there is nothing more disagreeable than to think so and find it a mistake. "So much good tears lost," as Talfourd said ef a lady who cried all the way through Mrs.-Siddons' "Rosalind," supposing it to be her Lady Constance. However, my recent misadventure resulted well, in having convinced us all of the propriety of a compact never hereafter to stray away from our own party on the Plains.
When I had received the full measure due me of felicitation and scolding, the horses which, just as I arrived, had been put under saddle with the intention of going out to look up Munger and John Gilbert, as well as myself, were brought back to their original positions, and, breaking up camp, we all set out for a meadow five miles further down the Republican, on the same side. Our prevailing motive was to gratify Thompson's inextinguishable enthusiasm for cows. If he had been Juno's centrum, poor lo would have fared even more pitiably than the poets tell us. Thompson was a capital fellow and shot; but if I were called on in a court of justice to testify what I regarded the salient point of his character, candor would force me to confess "cows." Despite the failures of yesterday, he was as certain that a promised land of cows was flowing with milk and calves just beyond the far timber as if he had been permitted to stand where Moses stood, and view the landscape o'er. It was impossible not to catch the.infection of such certainty. To be sure, I had seen the main herd in a diametrically opposite direction, and all the stampeded detachments fled that way; but how so much conviction could be based on an entire absence of cow was a psychological problem we felt inadequate to solve. So we blithely set forth with Thompson, a boo-scopic fervor gleaming from every eye.
Our way led along the first bottom through a broad dry slash of last year's grass, yellow as a wheat-field. We occasionally sent a turkey-hen rattling from her nest, as w« approached a timbered draw, and saw an antelope or two, but no fresh buffalo-sign appeared, or anything else of striking interest. An hour's ride brought us to one of the forward-curving extremities of the high bluff, and we were compelled to ford the river to the low bottom on the other side. We had great difficulty in getting our wagons across. The middle of the most practicable ford we could find, proved to have as treacherous a quicksand bottom as one ever sees. Our horses fell, and were only kept from drowning by the most vigorous efforte to keep their noses perpendicular. Our wagons sank so rapidly, that, to save their tirea from following their hubs out of sight, we were all compelled to strip ourselves, plunge- in, unload them, and carry their contents to the shore. The water rose over the bottomboards, and there stopped as we got the last box of hard-tack safe to land. We then hitched our saddle horses, which with the buggy had crossed safely, by extempore breast-straps and their picket-ropes, to the tugs of our struggling wagon-teams, and managed to unslough them just in time.
The sun was as bright, the sky as clear, as yesterday, and all the party, more especially myself, with a red-hot pincushion for a hand, were greatly fatigued and perspired. Halting our horses to rest under the shade of sonic fine old cotton-woods between the river and the open, we plunged back into the.Republican, and sucked refreshment through every pore, during a bath which lasted nearly an hour. Over and above this delightful relief, our swim had some interesting scientific results, which I transfer almost verbatim from the hurried pages of my field-book, apologizing for any deficiency which may be found in definiteness of nomenclature, by the fact that in such circumstances as ours an amateur scientist has neither books nor tests, except his own memory and intuitions.
1. Along the river banks, and in holes of its bed, we found several strong chalybeate springs, with bogiron about their spiracles. Everywhere we discovered iron ore of some kind in immediate proximity to the water. Huch of it was peroxide mixed into a yellow mass with clay; but we found some specimens of black-scale that were almost virgin-pure, — certainly, I should say, reaching ninety per cent. of metal. It appeared in large enough quantities to make its working indubitably valuable, when the Pacific Railroad shall have given an outlet to the products of the Plains.
2. We found, both above and under water, slate in every stage of its formation, from the soft layer of clay, newly compacted into a slab, to the hardest kind of uncrystalline shale. When we dug down and brought up masses of the river bottom, they were laminated in parallel bands of varying color, which showed us plainly, as if written in characters of light, the successive periods of changing detritus brought down by the stream. Some of the masses cracked across with a true slaty fracture, square and straight, breaking under slight pressure. Some bent like fresh clay. All laminated easily. A large number of specimens contained shells; some of the older masses had them fossilized; and in none did they belong to any species whose living representatives we could find along the stream. Most of them were acephalous,—allied to the clam; some of them had corrugated valves; one or two, the cardinal expansion of the scallop. Several were ostracidce. One particularly hard lump of clayrock, which laminated with comparative difficulty, was a perfect congeries of gasteropod univalves, both fossil shell and cast remaining perfect. AVhat surprised me most was to find slate containing these obsolete shells, so soft and so inohoate in its own petrifaction; also to find such abundance of perfect fossils in chiy-shale at all. All geologists know that throughout our Eastern region this friable rock is the poorest possible receptacle for the preservation of remains. I ascribe the durability of the matrix in the present instance to a small per cent. of lime acting as a cement.
3. Numerous flat plates of a yellow argillaceous limestone came up from the bed of the river, and were found in situ on its bank. These did not laminate, but broke across with as square a fracture us the slate. The lime was in combination,— probably an impure gypsum; but as to that, in the absence of chemical tests, I could only judge by a sulphurous taste and smell at the fracture.
4. Everywhere in the river appeared a very remarkable conglomerate, and like the slate in exhibiting all the stages of formation. The matrix was the blue clay of the bank, the rubble was the gravel of the bottom. It was most interesting to read the history of its formation in the progressive specimens. A lump of heavy clay breaks off the shore, and is rolled over the pebbles of the bed by a rapid shallow current, which presently gives it a spherical, oval, or cylindrical contour, and studs it with a mass of Man 11 imbedded stones. As these sink deeper, the olay Baps over them, and begins catching a new layer of pefebles on its fresh surface. Some less recent balls which we brought up from the bed were two feet in circumference, and little else than a mass of pebbles, cemented by hardened clay. Several were so compacted and indurated that the surface seemed nearly as homogeneous as porphyry, the matrix having become little less hard than the flintiest pebbles.
This sight staggered me in my own preconceived view, and that of many geologists, regarding the' igneous origin of the harder conglomerates. From what I saw I could well conceive how the very hardest might have been the result of mere water-operations. I had regarded the pebbles of igneous origin,, found in conglomerates, as presumptive proof of the