When we last heard from Mr. Johnson, he had fallen in with some shepherds who were guarding a huge flock of sheep from wolves, on the road to Reno.

That same night …

“It was about midnight when I left my camp; I concluded it would be safer to move on than stay there with all those wolves around me. I filled my lantern with oil and moved on; after traveling about a half mile I found that I had a big hill to descend, it was very dark and could scarce see my way. I roped my wheels and descended the hill with bated breath, not knowing what might happen; I could see on my left a deep canyon, the road was apparently wide and good. Having made the descent safely I breathed more freely; on going some further distance I came to a house, which I approached and knocking at the door a voice answered, ‘Who is there?’ ‘Get up, friend, I would like to ask a few questions.’ ‘Go on, I can hear you without coming there,’ was answered. ‘I won’t harm you, I am traveling and from Eureka, three hundred miles from San Francisco.’ ‘You from Eureka?’ ‘I am, sir.’ ‘You talk as I used to do at home; I left Maine for Eureka in 1868. I am a Yankee, as evidently you are by your talk?’

“[I replied,] ‘You are right; I am. I came by way of Grass Valley, on the Henness trail, by Webber’s Lake. When I reached the turnpike I was in the rear of a herd of sheep and could not pass them and was obliged to travel in their rear until we came to the old saw mill on the hill where they turn into the canyon, while I camped opposite the mill. There seems to be any quantity of wild animals in that canyon; the herdsmen kept firing away all the first part of the night. I went to bed but dared not sleep, and became so much excited that I broke camp and came on here, running my chances of safely reaching Reno early in the day. How is the road thereto, is it safe to travel at night and is there much timber on the road?’ ‘From here to Reno is twelve miles and the road is both good and safe either night or day; there is no timber on the way.’ ‘How far am I from the railroad?’ ‘Not more than a half mile. This is Verdi, you will not pass the depot, as it is to your right a few rods. Stranger, you have been passing through the most dangerous part of California; no part being so dangerous as the last hundred miles you have come so far unharmed, and so far you are a very lucky man, I hope you will succeed as well on your longer journey, good morning.'” …