of the instrument, turning the big end towards the Indian and he looked in. It made her appear a mile away. He would look in the level, then at his squaw, then finally gave a big grunt and said "Talkey lie" and went on his way to the lake. There were, at the time of which I am writing, some Indian hieroglyphics on a large table rack on the east side of the lake close to the wagon road. They were worth while looking at, and I don't know whether the general public know of their existence or not.

The only bad feature about these bowlders was that there seemed to be a rattlesnake's den thereabouts. One evening a Mr. Scuppem, much to our surprise and disgust, came into the cabin with a rattlesnake which he had caught as it was coming out of its hole. He held it behind the head. It was about eighteen inches long and the rattles were in splendid working order. I have never in my life heard so many unkind remarks made to a man's face. Some of the more angry victims of this particular prank wanted to throw him into the lake that his ambition for snake hunting might be cooled. About this time I was assigned to the locating party east of Crystal Lake. The camp was about a mile east of the town of Eatonville, on the Donner Lake wagon road. This town is now known as Cisco. With my blankets and carpetbag I boarded a fast freight wagon to make another new start on life's journey.

A Bed on the Boughs.

At the new camp I found one man and from his general makeup took him to be the cook, and here was my chance to make friends with him for we were alone among the big pines. He was a German. He asked me where I was from. I told him from San Francisco, which seemed to strike him just right, as he was from there himself. He gave me a piece of bread baked in a Dutch oven; it tasted good to me for I could eat almost anytime. The sun was fast setting in the west when the party returned to camp. I presented my letter to Mr. Guppey from Mr. Clement. He introduced me to the members of the party by saying, "Boys, this is our new back flagman." The party included C. H. Guppey, engineer and transit man; John Currier, leveler; Arthur Ledley, leveler's rodman; Chauncie Brainard, head chainman; John Harding, back chainman; M.N. Denton, stake agent. The cook they called "Haunse." I never knew his right name; and myself and a little dog called "Tip" comprised the party.

I was assigned my sleeping room in one corner of the tent. Mr. Ledley gave me a small hand axe and went with me to find a small fir tree from which to cut boughs to make a matress for my bed. The ends of the boughs I stuck into the ground, laid my canvas on them, then my blankets and my carpetsack for a pillow. Supper was served in an old log cabin a few feet from the tent. The table legs four in number , were made from small trees and had been driven into the ground on which rested the boards with benches for seats. The supper that evening consisted of a mulligan stew with good bread, of which I had tasted a few hours before, and dried apple sauce, coffee and brown sugar, eaten from tin plates and cups. Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal. I know I did, for I was always ready to eat.

The cabin was used by Mr. Guppey. He woud plan his day's work while others sat about the campfire. I was the center of attention that evening and was kept busy replying to questions about myself and fighting mosquitoes. The mosquitoes took kindly to me and were very friendly. They were as big as hornets. At bedtime I made a small fire in the tent and smoked them out. They went to the rocks in the Yuba River, wet their bills and returned to sing their sweet songs about the tent. They were tireless workers and laid their plans to get in while we were sleeping, which some of them did. It seemed to me that they had me spotted and made straight for me. After a few days and nights one would have thought I had the chicken pox. I hardly knew myself.

Had the Axes to Grind.

The first thing I heard in the morning was "Haunse" blowing his horn, the signal for us to get up. I was always the first up, and after putting on my canvas pants, leather boots with hob nails and short spikes in the heels, would go to the river to wash to return ready to eat. After breakfast the first morning I was shown how to hold the red and white rod with sharp point on one end, and was sent to turn the grindstone for Mr. Brainard and Mr. Harding to sharpen their axes before going up the line. My hands were soft and I was soon changing from one to the other and had blisters on both. I had not as yet fully recovered from my ride on Mr. Clement's white mule, but I stayed on the job. We started up the mountain to commence work where they had left off the day before. We went through underbrush, over rocks, and I was not slow in finding out wht the spikes were for in my boots, for they saved me more than once from falling. We picked up the line about two miles east of what was known as Butte Canyon. Mr. Guppey set his transit on the first peg with a tack in it, I the next one back with a stake driven beside it marked C. T. with red chalk, which I had no trouble finding. We had not gone 1000 feet when the line struck a big pine, which meant it must come down, and it was here that Brainard and Harding came in with their axes. After two hours work the giant fell, which meant another turn at the grindstone the next morning. We did fairly well that day, which brought us up to about opposite Eatonville.


Courtesy of the Lynn D. Farrar Collection.

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