Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/652

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
644
TRAVELS IN MEXICO.

ural craving of the "tender-foot" for a sight of relics of the campaign, had placed in his window "the skull and a rifle of an Indian chief," and some Chihuahua currency "taken from the dead body of a noted warrior on the battle-field." As the currency was some I myself had lent mine host, and as I was not conscious of having plundered any dead Indian, the tenderfoot naturally looked upon the other "genuine relics" with suspicion.

At noon, I took train for Sonora and the Gulf of California, through a waste and forsaken region, in which settlements are not stimulated by the local tariff of ten cents a mile for travel. The temperature along this route through Southern Arizona was about one hundred degrees, in such shade as it was possible to find. The general vegetation was cactus, the greatest types of which, the giant petayah, were most interesting. Benson is the first large and flourishing town west of Deming, from which it is one hundred and seventy-four miles distant. Only forty-six miles west lies the ancient Spanish settlement, now a flourishing city, of Tucson; but this city I did not visit, as my course lay towards and into Mexico, bearing south from Benson instead of west, crossing the rich mineral region which has made Arizona famous, both in the distant past and in recent years, and has sustained its claim to the ancient appellation of Arezuma, Land of Gold.

From Contention, on the line of the "New Mexico and Arizona," it is but ten miles to Tombstone, the banner town of Arizona, to which a stage runs on quick time. At Huachuca General Crook and staff left the train for the military post of that name, where their presence was needed for the final disposition of the troops guarding the Border. They are, all of them, as modest and unassuming heroes as I ever had the good fortune to meet. Having just brought to a successful close one of the most intrepid and remarkable expeditions on record, they were now retiring to the obscurity of a remote frontier post, and turning their backs upon the honors the grateful people of Arizona were anxious to shower upon them.

Calabasas is the name of the last station in United States