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squares of infantry. At one time Mr. Garvin had set his stake in the Garden of the Gods, intending to enjoy the luxury of ownership in that great natural curiosity; but other business prevented his carrying out his plan of a large house there, and, not to interfere with actual settlers who might wish the spot, he finally withdrew his claim. George Tappan, some time before I came to Denver, prečmpted the section containing the springs of the Fontaine qui Bouille. But Nature is not quite as easy with the new settler as Uncle Sam. If she is to yield him anything, she demands pay beforehand. He can't put in his seeds, and give her a due-bill on Heaven to be presently paid in showers; but he must advance her moisture in the shape of irrigation, prior to all possibility of her growing a valuable crop. Through the low bottom immediately east of the Gods' Garden, I found a number of “sequis,” or distributing ditches, already run, connecting with a small rivulet which came from Camp Creek Cañon, and fell lower down into the Fontaine qui Bouille. Along these grew a profusion of the willow-leaved cotton-wood, a tree so much resembling the common swamp willow of our Eastern States, that but for the character of the bark I should have taken it for an old friend. The cottonwood with the cordiform leaf abounds around Denver, but is comparatively scarce here. Wandering through the thicket, I collected several of the largest and most gorgeous butterflies found out of California, and had my first open-air interview with a Colorado rattlesnake. He was so near me, as I stooped to put my hat over a giant papilio sucking from the mud of the stream, that if he had not been a noble enemy, he could have killed me more easily than I caught the insect. But he lifted his head out of his coil, rattled vigorously, and as I leaped back to break off a sapling for his benefit, slipped quietly out of sight into an overgrown “sequi.” He was five feet in length; and though, as may well be supposed under the circumstances, I did not undertake to count his rattles, he had every look of a veteran. But for his noise, the ordinary observer, familiar with our Eastern and Southern snake, would not have taken him for a crotalus at all, the brown of his clouds being so much duller, and shading into ashen gray without the least yellow tinge in it. Besides, his length is never as great as that attained by our varieties, four and five feet being his average, and six feet a somewhat unusual measure. He is none the pleasanter pet for these differences. His poison is quite as deadly as his Eastern cousin's, though I must do him the justice to say that he is not such a bore, and keeps himself much further from the sight of civilization. In all our wanderings through the wildest parts of the Continent, I only saw one other living rattlesnake in the open air, and perhaps half a dozen that had been killed, and were lying in our track. The creatures showed every anxiety to get out of man's way, and, it is to be hoped, will never learn the habits of their Virginia congeners, who make a rendezvous of the rock foundation under a house, and a profession, on sunny days, of biting the children. One of our party, in an expedition to the mountains, had one of his ambulance mules bitten on the nose while feeding on a green bottom among the Wind River peaks. Everybody counseled him to shoot the beast, insisting that he could not save him. But he liked the mule, as possessing a somewhat sweeter temper and happier view of life than are usually enjoyed by his tribe, so he determined to cure him. In the first place, he tied a small package of gunpowder across the wound on the nose, bandaged the mule's eyes, and exploded the charge. Following this novel method of actual cautery, he bound upon the spot a paper of moistened fine-cut tobacco. Then, with the assistance of his men, he held the mule's mouth open, and poured an entire bottle of raw Bourbon whiskey down his throat. After that—he did nothing more. The mule lived to thank him, and pay his bill for medical services, by drawing him home to the white settlements; but I suspect that there were moments during the progress of the cure when Mr. Mule wondered seriously whether it was worth while. (In saying Mr. Mule, I do not intend to be eccentric; but really, over this entire region, that term of respect is so habitually applied to animals as to lose the slightest semblance of badinage. The old hunter says, “I up with my rifle, and down goes Mr. Antelope; ” or, “Mr. Bear sat up, and took one of my dogs right across the scalp;” or, “Mr. Indian lay in the bushes waiting for the train.” It is a title given to anything that has made the settler trouble, or in any way measured forces with him; given half in mockery of a conquered foe, but mostly, I suspect, with an instinctive veneration for the force of character which has made the victory costly. What did Mister originally mean but master? I am, however, getting too philological even for a parenthesis.) We had been employed at the Garden of the Gods in our various fashions for a little over two hours, when our ambassador returned with a whiffletree. It was manufactured out of an old awning-post belonging to some discarded emigrant wagon, and had several holes in it, where the curtain-buttons had been screwed in. But it was neatly made, and the only thing we could get. The blacksmith of the settlement, who was also its wheelwright and general mechanic, had made a tour among all the ruins of his shop before he could find a piece of timber suitable for our purpose. It is a curious fact that no hard wood like our nut-trees, ash, and white-oak, is to be found among the native growths of Colorado. There is plenty of pine and cedar timber in the high mountain gorges, some spruce and fir; but all the work which has to endure strain, must be made from imported woods. It is not long since young hickory, not particularly well seasoned, sold as high as forty cents a pound in this region. An old pair of ash thills will often bring more money, for purposes of cutting up and making over, than an entirely new pair, of the best workmanship, would cost in New York. There seems to be a fine field open to any man who can resist the temptation of immediate and perhaps munificent returns offered by speculation and the mines, long enough to try the acclimatization of the hard woods in Colorado. There is but little doubt that a nursery of hickories, English walnuts, white-ashes, and oaks, would flourish almost anywhere between Denver and Latham, along the banks of the Platte. It certainly would take but little time and energy to commence the experiment, by planting the nuts, seeds, or acorns. No enterprise takes better care of itself from the first start; and if it succeeded, the proprietor would have the satisfaction of a fine source of revenue yearly, doubling its value before his eyes, with the certainty that in twenty years he might command the entire markets of Denver, Central, and Colorado cities, in virtue of the mere fact that he was first in the field. Wast quantities of hard wood are needed in Denver and the mines; yet the impossibility of getting it close at hand is so great that I have seen men come into George Tappan's store, buy half a dozen imported rakes, and break off the teeth and bows to make fishpoles of the handles. Nothing else sufficiently strong, light, and pliant was to be had for love or money. Every train of Tappan's, Byram's, or the other merchants running wagons from the Missouri, brings out a cargo of the hard woods; but these necessarily command prices which must long ago have stimulated Coloradian enterprise into attempting tree culture for itself, had not the one idea of mining hitherto absorbed every faculty of the people. This matter must and will right itself in time. At least, I hope so; for certainty is not quite possible to one who has seen the same destitution prevailing in parts of Oregon which have been much longer settled, have no excuse in the importunity of mining, and very little help to their condition from anything like a well perfected system of imports.
What I have said touching this matter may seem too large an excursion from the recital of our trip; but it is my object, so far as possible, to take the reader along with me, let him see what I saw as it occurred, and have him share the suggestions awakened within me as they arose on the spot. We shall thus be in less danger of overlooking many apparently trifling but still important traits of the country and people we travel through, which by their minuteness might slip the grasp of a more orderly and ambitious classification.