Continuing from Friday’s post, as I didn’t have a chance to post anything over the weeked. …

Mr. Johnson says, “It has been my custom to follow the railroad as close as I could, so that should I become sick or disabled I could have ready access to the railroad. This custom I have generally adhered to. I have often been told that the old emigrant trail was always the best, and now I am advised to keep the old trail to Terrace, and on leaving this station there is but one trail for some distance. I took this trail, traveling with the railroad to my right, until about one o’clock in the afternoon, when I came to some grass known as bunch grass. This grass grows in bunches, some as large as a bog. The small bunches look beautiful, on the alkalic plains and among the sage bushes. I stopped here, taking the horse from the carriage, removed her harness, and turned her loose, and the cow also. This they enjoyed for about an hour and at two o’clock we resumed our journey.

“In front of us was a mountain, a noble looking fellow. It appeared to be about five miles away, yet it might be twenty-five. We went on, the railroad was out of sight. I could not see a telegraph pole and began to feel uneasy, and wished I had taken the other trail. The more I thought, the more foolish I felt and concluded to change my course. All around me was a flat surface; the sage bushes were quite thin and scattering, and I was bound to find the railroad that I had left to my right. I had been traveling east by the sun. I then struck out on a southeast line and continued on that course for two hours; the sun almost down and no railroad in sight. I changed my course to the right and just as the sun was dropping out of sight, I came to the railroad.

“I then changed my course to the left and came on the railroad trail near to Bovine station, which I soon reached. It had got dark and cloudy, no moon to be seen. My lantern was minus oil, I having neglected to fill it. I poured some oil on the ground and set it on fire, then I filled the lantern by its light. Having a light, I then saw a house close by and went to it, to ascertain if I could get water. I knocked at the door and a voice asked, ‘Who is there?’ ‘Madam, I am a stranger and have come a long distance; I have a horse and cow and would like some water for them, they have not tasted [any] since this morning. I want some good; I dare not give them alkalic water. All the way from Wadsworth I filled my cans from the cisterns at the stations.’ ‘Where have you come from?’ asked the lady. ‘I have come from California; I am going east to Massachusetts, which is my home.’ ‘I dare not let you in; my husband has not yet come home, he will be here soon.’ ‘I do not care to come in; all I want is water for the cattle.’ I had to wait.

“I went back to the camp and gave the cattle some grain and got ready to go to bed; as I was about to retire the freight train from the west passed by. I made my cattle fast to their post, went to bed and soon fell asleep. About one a.m., I was awakened by a passing train, which came to a dead stop. Two men got off the train and went to the house. Soon after, these men came to where I lay; my lantern was hanging on the hub of the wheel, burning. I called out, ‘Halt! Advance and give the counter-sign.’ They stopped, right short. ‘We have just got off the train and went to the house where we belong. I am boss of repairs. My wife said there was a man on the other side of the railroad, with a horse, carriage, cow, and dog from California, going east, to Massachusetts. Is that so?’ ‘It is; I told her every word of it.’ ‘Is that true?’ ‘It is true; I have come from California and it is my intention to go east, to Massachusetts.’ ‘Stranger, come into the house and take a bed; you shall be welcome.’ ‘Friend, I thank you; I never have left my cattle alone over night. All times, day and night, I am with them. I do not intend to have anyone take my horse or cow without my knowledge.’ ‘Your cattle will be safe here.’ ‘Perhaps they would, but I do not intend to take any chances. Friend, my cow ought to be milked, she has not been milked since yesterday morning; she will be more comfortable. You get me something to milk in and you can have it.’ He went for a pail and I filled it, about four quarts. He took the milk into the house and gave it to the lady. ‘Stranger, there will be a train from the west soon. Is your horse afraid of the cars?’ ‘No, not the least, but the cow is.’ ‘Well, stranger, if you will not come in and sleep, we shall have to leave you out for the night. Good night.’

(I hope Fanny and Bessie got some water to drink!)