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covering of canvas, his anvil-block and forge, and was busily engaged in repairing a damaged vehicle. (See Plate.)
Our cook is busily engaged in preparing supper, while Mr. Cooper and myself devote the few remaining moments of twilight, to sketching the surrounding scene. The snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada are seen looming up in the distance, now gilded by the last rays of the setting sun, and now a dark imposing
Our teamster has just returned after a weary search for pasturage for our mules. I am visited by an individual whose personal appearance proclaims his own history more eloquently than it can be described. He might be termed one of the oldest inhabitants, having taken up his residence in the country before the gold excitement. He claimed to be on terms of intimacy with the delirium tremens, was deaf, had the rheumatism and scurvy, and said "he was not very well himself." His entire system seemed palsied by the use of rum, and so little control had he over the lineaments of his face, that he could only open his eyes by opening his mouth at the same time; hence, in closing his mouth upon his pipe (which was in constant use) he was obliged to part the lids of his left eye with his thumb and finger; so confirmed had he become in this habit, that a protuberance had raised upon his eyebrow and cheek-bone by the appliance. He was extremely loquacious and imparted much valuable information gratis, constantly keeping that piercing eye upon our brandy bottle. Mr. Cooper, who was seated upon a log near, cast an inquisitive glance upon him, and I tried to detect a family resemblance between the two. I was unable to learn, however, that they were in the least connected, nor am I prepared to say that their present acquaintance ripened into an intimacy. Two amiable donkeys are standing patiently under their loads while their masters are extracting “vegetables” from a demijohn.
We were serenaded, as usual, during the night. We had been under the impression that the music was gratis, but learned, on this occasion, that it was supported by direct taxation, one of the worthies having taken a ham from our camp-kettle during the night. In addition to this, I had the pleasure, in the morning, of adding a note to his scale, with which he seemed so much pleased, that he went off repeating it, until he was out of sight.