Meeting the Paiutes

“Alright, Cody, get on!” The employee said. I got on the horse, Blaze. This delivery was westward, from Cold Spy.

I threw the mochila over the back of the horse. It contained twenty pounds of mail, and twenty pounds of accessories, including a water sack, a bible, a horn, a revolver, and a rifle.

I got on the horse, blew the horn, and galloped off. The route was pretty tough from Cold Spy compared to yesterday’s route from Sulfur Springs, Nevada, but the horse did not seem to tire. And anyways, Sulfur Springs was a really stinky place, and also full of snakes. A rattlesnake bit my horse there yesterday. (He was healing from the bite, and was in a stable at Cold Spy under the care of a boy living in the neighborhood).

After about ten miles of riding over what seemed like endless, bumpy terrain, when the first swing station was in sight, I blew the horn to let the station keeper know I was coming, and prepare the next horse. I rode into the station, and jumped off the horse. With the mochila already thrown onto the fresh horse, I jumped off Blaze, and onto another horse.

I rode from Middle Creek, leaping over trenches and other obstacles on the road. I was on the path to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the toughest part of the entire route from St. Joseph to Sacramento. After a good hour of riding, I came to the next station, and continued this way with only one halt at Old River for a brief meal.

I continued from Dayton, the last station I would pass through today, on a black stallion, a mustang that was born wild in Nevada’s wilder places.

About half way to the next station however, I heard a shriek from the rock pile on the side of the road. Another eastbound rider was galloping up, and we halted our horses next to the pile. Just as we were going to ride on and forget about the shriek, five Indian warriors jumped onto the narrow trail, all holding knives, three with bows and two with spears. We grabbed our rifles, trying to see whether they would attack or not.

One bent his bow. I remembered the employee’s words: “The horse and rider should perish before the mochila did.” I took my horn out, but the Indian released his arrow. The shot missed us, but the only reason for that was that the other rider readied his rifle for a shot. The Indian who shot the arrow, along with three others, fled for the rock pile without more fighting. The Indian who stayed however charged at the rider, with his spear ready. I blew the horn so loud that not only the Carson City station heard the blast, but the one beyond it too. The Indian stopped short, for he knew that help would come from nearby stations. He turned and fled towards the others, who were just out of shooting distance, leaving his spear behind. I got off my horse, stuck the spear into the ground beside the road. Then, saying goodbye to the other rider, I rode into the sunset in the west.

This was only a small attack, and more were to come. The Paiute war was starting.

“Well, I wonder what the Indians wanted with the mochila.” I told the station keeper. “Maybe they wanted news from the East!”


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