But we try to make the best of it, once there. "Let's say it does pay," says the jolly Tapley of our party. "Yes, let's sit on the banks of this lovely river." We do so. A companionable but not welcome watersnake does so also, and we leave him in possession. Try again. There is an Indian camp beside Hutching's. It looks romantic from this point. Let us get nearer. A vile stench greets us. These filthy wretches found a dead horse yesterday, and are now eating some of its carcass. There is one of the poor brute's legs with mud-begrimed hoof still hanging to it. Its entrails and other parts are strung out in the sun to dry for future eating; the black blood drips to the ground as a dog gnaws them greedily, until driven off by an Indian woman who is unwilling to share such a luxury. It will not do to approach these people too closely; they are covered with vermin. Their copper skins are black as soot in spots; this is caked dirt, pure and simple. They are clad in the discarded tatters of civilization; and how tattered the discarded garment of the Sierra Nevada mountaineer is, no one can know who has not seen. The consequence is that the sight of these people so near a pleasure resort is an offence to decency. Indian men loll under the trees playing cards for silver coin. They glare at us as we approach. It is easy to see that these people (although Ferguson assured us they were "tame") would have no humanitarian scruples about waging a war of extermination against the whites if they had but the power.
While the men play cards and loaf under the shade of trees, the women sit in the broiling sun and grind acorns, beating them between heavy stones into the finest powder. These acorns ground to meal furnish the only food these poor creatures can rely on during winter; and to gather them and dispute their possession with the hogs is the work of the Indian women. That is, it is one part of their work, for that all work is done by Indian women is an old story. Manhood oblige!