We had proceeded but a few hundred yards, Toowig and Reese in advance of Dan about fifty yards, and he in advance of me about fifty yards, my feet being badly swollen and skinned, and distressingly sore, and I hobbling on at a tedious gait, when I discovered  four ranchero cavalry emerging from the gap in the mountains through which we had to pass, and coming immediately towards us. I hallooed to my comrades to look to the front, but by this time they had met, saluted the caballeros with apparent confidence, and passed on. Dan did the same, and I followed suit with the best of my poor Spanish. I kept my eye well over my shoulder to watch their motions.
When they had passed about one hundred yards, they wheeled their horses' heads together, and, after a hurried and very excited consultation, dashed back upon me in full charge. I called my comrades to return to my assistance - that these fellows were charging upon me, at the same time facing them, and mixing up in an angry tone the worst Spanish and English oaths. The only weapons I had upon my person were my tongue and sapote walking-stick; the first I freely used, and the other I held in reserve for close quarters; but, as Providence would have it, the fate of war had now halted me in the midst of a rich supply of throwing-stones, and I did not consider the odds very unequal. Had I turned my back upon these knights, I should have fallen an easy prey under their cutlasses; this I knew, and I determined to fight it out upon the spot. The foremost of these fellows had by this time reached within fifteen or eighteen steps of my position, and the instant I expected the battle to commence, he filed suddenly to the left, the others following at  full speed. They dismounted in great haste at a house some hundred yards opposite me, as I judged, for the purpose of procuring re-enforcements.
I turned to look after my comrades. They, not understanding what I said when I called to them, and believing that these fellows were the advance of a stronger force, had dashed into the thick mountain brush, Toowig upon the right, and Dan and Reese upon the left of the road. I hurried on, and went into the same place where I had seen the two last enter. Here I found them, and we scrambled up a precipice too steep for cavalry to follow, and lay down under some thick bushes to rest. Dark came on before these fellows could complete their preparations for pursuit; and after resting, and giving our private whistle for Toowig, whom we could not bring up, we set out in a different course, leaving the Péon's direction to our right.
Our course this night was over an excessively broken country, alternate mountains and valleys of exceeding height and fearful depth. Briers, thorn-bushes, and sharp stones impeded our progress, and made the labour of the foremost much the most difficult. Accordingly, we alternately took the lead. When it came my turn to lead, we fell into a path comparatively level, which we pursued several hundred yards, the end of my walking-stick always ahead of me about two feet, feeling the way. At length I felt no bottom, and from habit