(continued from yesterday) …

“This is a very good road, I have had none like it so far on my journey. I am traveling in the rear of a large flock of sheep and cannot get by them. On my left is a deep canyon, and on my right is a high bluff or mountain. I asked the herdsman where they intended to camp? He said, just this side of Silver Peak, but a short distance further.

“At six o’clock we came to a saw mill. At the left of this mill the herdsman turned in and drove down into the canyon. I was informed that there was good feeding, but did not go down to see. I pitched my camp opposite the mill, where there was a good feeding of wild oats, which my cattle readily devoured. They were the first wild oats on which they had fed. I made a fire, wood being around in abundance; made a dish of tea and ate my supper and laid down for a while.

“About nine o’clock I got up and after securing the cattle for the night I again laid down, but could not go to slepp, on account of the sheep bleating for their young, there being about six thousand of them in the canyon. About half-past ten o’clock I heard the report of a gun, then another, and another.

“I called out, ‘What is the matter down there?’ ‘Matter enough, the wolves are after our mutton, the canyon is full of them. We dare not set our dogs on them as they will be killed, so we blaze at them.’ ‘Come up here and get some milk, I have some and you can have all you wish.’

“The man was soon at my camp who said, ‘I have come for that milk, thinking it must be worth coming after.’ ‘But what have you to carry it in?’ ‘Oh, the devil. I did not think to bring anything. Can’t I take the can, I will bring it back; what is it worth?’ ‘I paid a dollar for it in Sacramento.’ ‘Will you sell it, I will give what it cost you and more if you say so.’ I let him have the can at cost and he gave me a dollar. He wished to pay me for the milk also but I declined to take it. ‘What is the matter among your sheep?’ I asked. ‘The wolves want mutton; they were as thick as rabbits when I came up, I could hear them in the brush after the sheep; they can smell a sheep a long way off. Our sheep are hungry, still we dare not let them feed at nights; they must wait till morning and then the dogs can take care of them,’ said the shepherd. ‘In what kind of a place are your sheep tonight?’ ‘They are in a kind of oblong square, and there are six thousand of them; they will cover about two acres. On one side we have three camp fires, on the other are six dogs and four men with guns.’ ‘Do you fear the coyote?’ ‘No, we do not, we set our dogs on them, but the wolf would kill a dog mighty quick. When the wolves show themselves we quickly blaze at them; we try not to kill but to wound them. If a wolf is wounded we are not troubled with others for some time.’ ‘You was not afraid to come for the milk?’ ‘I should not have dared to come had I not had this lantern, it is enough to keep any wolf away from me.’ ‘Do you think they will make an attack on me?’ ‘They will not trouble you as long as the sheep are there, if they were not around they might attack your cattle; but you need not fear.’

“Bang, bang, bang, went three guns. ‘I must go back, there may be something for me to do; they may have a strong army and if they attack us would make a clean sweep of the sheep. Stranger, you have been passing through a wild country; have you not been troubled by these infernals during the night? If not, you are remarkably lucky.’ ‘At Graniteville, I was told that I was entering a wild region and should be ready to meet them. Since then I have been on the lookout, and tonight the varmints are plentiful around and should be handled with firmness.'”