Three Years Among the Indians and Mexicans, by Thomas James

Chapter 4

Interview with Governor Malgaris--Commencement of business--Departure of McKnight--Arrival of Cordaro--His Speech-- His visit to Nacotoche--His death and character--Hugh Glenn-- Celebration of Mexican Independence--Gambling and dissipation--Mexican Indians--Domestic manufactures--Visit of the Utahs--Their Horses--Speech of the Chief Lechat--War with the Navahoes--Cowardly murder of their Chiefs by the Spaniards--Militia of Santa Fe--Attempt to go to Senoria--Stopped by the Governor--Interview with the Adjutant--Selling out-- Hugh Glenn again--How the Governor paid me a Debt--Spanish Justice--Departure for home.

I ENTERED SANTE FE on the first day of December, A. D. 1821, and immediately went with Ortise as interpreter, to the Governor's palatia or house, to whom I made known my object in visiting his country, and showed my passport. He remarked on reading it, that they were entirely independent of Spain, that the new government had not laid any duties on imports and gave me permission to vend my goods. I rented a house, and on the next day commenced business. In about two weeks I took in $200, which I advanced to John McKnight for the expenses of his journey to Durango, about sixteen hundred miles south, where his brother Robert was living after his enlargement from prison. They both returned in the month of April following. Soon after McKnights departure, I heard of Hugh Glenn's arrival at Loas, sixty miles north of Santa Fe and was soon after favored with a visit from him. He came down to Santa Fe, borrowed $60 from me, and at the end of a week returned to Loas.

About six weeks after I reached Santa Fe my true friend and protector, Cordaro, came in according to promise, with thirty of his tribe, to ascertain if we were at liberty. He was dressed in his full regimentals and commanded the respect of the Spanish officials, who behaved towards him with great deference. By his request a council was held, which convened in the Spanish Council House on the public square, and was attended by the Spanish officers, magistrates, and principal citizens of Santa Fe. Cordaro made the speech for which he had caused the council to be held. He expressed his pleasure at finding that we and the Spaniards were friends, that he would be pleased to see us always living together like brothers and hoped that the American trade would come to his country as well as to the Spaniards. He complained that we traded with their enemies, the Osages, and furnished them with powder, lead, and guns, but had no intercourse with the Camanches. He hoped the Government of the United States would interfere and stop the depredations of the Osages upon his nation. "They steal our horses and murder our people," said he, "and the Americans sell them the arms and amunition which they use in war upon us. We want your trade, and if you will come among us we will not cheat nor rob you. I have had a talk with my nation and told them they had done a great wrong in treating you as they did, and they promised never to do so again. They say they will pay you in horses and mules for the goods they took from you on the Canadian, if you will only come once more into our country. Come with your goods among us; you shall be well treated. I pledge you my word, the word of Cordaro, that you shall not be hurt nor your goods taken from you without full payment. Each of my nation promises to give you a horse if you will come and trade with us once more, and though poor, and though I got none of your goods, yet will I give you two of the best horses in the nation. Come to our country once more and you shall find friends among the Camanches. Come and you shall be safe. Cordaro says it." The old warrior spoke like a orator and looked like a statesman. He appeared conscious of the vast superiority of the whites, or rather of the Americans, to his own race and desired the elevation of his countrymen by adopting some of our improvements and customs. For the Spaniards he entertained a strong aversion and dislike; not at all mingled with fear, however, for he spoke to them always as an equal or superior. They refused to trade with his nation in arms and had nothing besides which his people wanted. Their remarkable disposition to treachery appeared to be perfectly known to the old Chieftain.

After the council, Cordaro desired me to write a letter for him to his great friend Col. Jameson of Nacatoche, and make known to him the manner in which he had remembered his promise to protect the Americans in his country, by saving me and my company from death at the hands of his countrymen. I wrote the letter and delivered it to him. On the next day we parted, and I never saw him again. In my trip to the Camanche country in 1824 I was informed by the Indians that he went to Nacatoche with my letter to Col. Jameson, who gave him three horses, loaded with presents. By this means he returned to his country a rich man, and soon after became sick and died. He was a sagacious, right-hearted patriot and a brave warrior, who in different circumstances might have accomplished the destiny of a hero and savior of his country.

I continued my trading, though without much success on account of the scarcity of money. I had seen enough of Mexican society to be thoroughly disgusted with it. I had not supposed it possible for any society to be as profligate and vicious as I found all ranks of that in Santa Fe. The Indians are much superior to their Spanish masters in all the qualities of a useful and meritorious population.

On the fifth of February a celebration took place of Mexican Independence. A few days before this appointed time, a meeting of the Spanish officers and principal citizens was held at the house of the Alcalde to make arrangements for the celebration. They sent for me, asked what was the custom in my country on such occasions, and requested my advice in the matter. I advised them to raise a liberty pole, hoist a flag, and fire a salute for each Province. They counted up the Provinces or States, and discovered that Mexico contained twenty-one, including Texas. They said they knew nothing of the rule of proceeding in such cases and desired me to superintend the work. I sent out men to the neighboring mountains for the tallest pine that could be found. They returned with one thirty feet long. I sent them out again, and they brought in another much longer than the first. I spliced these together, prepared a flag rope, and raised the whole, as a liberty pole, about seventy feet high. There was now great perplexity for a national emblem and motto for the flag, none having yet been devised, and those of Spain being out of the question. I recommended the Eagle, but they at last agreed upon two clasped hands in sign of brotherhood and amity with all nations. By day light on the morning of the fifth I was aroused to direct the raising of the flag. I arose and went to the square, where I found about a dozen men with the Governor, John Facundo Malgaris, all in a quandary, not knowing what to do. I informed the Governor that all was ready for raising the flag, which honor belonged to him. "Oh do it yourself," said he, "you understand such things." So, I raised the first flag in the free and independent State of New Mexico. As the flag went up, the cannon fired and men and women from all quarters of the city came running, some half dressed, to the public square, which was soon filled with the population of this city. The people of the surrounding country also came in, and for five days the square was covered with Spaniards and Indians from every part of the province. During this whole time the city exhibited a scene of universal carousing and revelry. All classes abandoned themselves to the most reckless dissipation and profligacy. No Italian carnival ever exceeded this celebration in thoughtlessness, vice and licentiousness of every description. Men, women and children crowded every part of the city, and the carousal was kept up equally by night and day. There seemed to be no time for sleep. Tables for gambling surrounded the square and continually occupied the attention of crowds. Dice and Faro-banks were all the time in constant play. I never saw any people so infatuated with the passion for gaming. Women of rank were seen betting at the Faro-banks and dice tables. They frequently lost all their money; then followed the jewelry from their fingers, arms and ears: then the ribose or sash edged with gold, which they wear over the shoulders, was staked and lost, when the fair gamesters would go to their homes for money to redeem the last pledge and if possible, continue the play. Men and women on all sides of me, were thus engaged, and were all equally absorbed in the fluctuating fortunes of these games. The Demon of chance and of avarice seemed to possess them all, to the loss of what little reason nature had originally made theirs. One universal jubilee, like bedlam broke loose, reigned in Santa Fe for five days and nights. Freedom without restraint or license, was the order of the day; and thus did these rejoicing republicans continue the celebration of their Independence, till nature was too much exhausted to support the dissipation any longer. The crowds then dispersed to their homes with all the punishments of excess, with which pleasure visits her votaries. I saw enough during this five days revelry to convince me that the republicans of New Mexico were unfit to govern themselves or any body else. The Indians acted with more moderation and reason in their rejoicing than the Spaniards. On the second day of the celebration a large company of men and women from San Felipe, an Indian town forty miles south of Santa Fe, marched into the city, displaying the best formed persons I had yet seen in the country. The men were a head taller than the Spaniards around them, and their women were extremely beautiful, with fine figure and a graceful, elegant carriage. They were all tastefully dressed in cotton cloth of their own weaving and decorated with coral beads of a brilliant red color. Many wore rich pearl necklaces and jewelry of great value. I was told by Ortise that the ornaments of stone, silver and gold which some of these Indian ladies wore, were worth five hundred dollars. The red coral was worth one hundred dollars per pound. Many of the Indians, as the reader may suppose from this description of their women, are very wealthy. The men were also elegantly dressed in fine cloth, manufactured by their own wives and daughters. The Americans with their Tariff and "protection of home industry," might learn a lesson from these wise and industrious Indians. I heard nothing among them of a Tariff to protect their "domestic manufactures." They worked and produced and protection came of itself without the curse of government interference. This Indian company danced very gracefully upon the public square to the sound of a drum and the singing of the older members of their band. In this exercise they displayed great skill and dexterity. When intermingled in apparently hopeless confusion in a very complicated figure, so that the dance seemed on the point of breaking up, suddenly at the tap of the drum, each found his partner and each couple their place, without the least disorder and in admirable harmony. About the same time the Peccas Indians came into the city, dressed in skins of bulls and bears. At a distance their disguise was quite successful and they looked like the animals which they counterfeited so well that the people fled frightened at their appearance, in great confusion from the square.

I have spoken before, in favorable terms of the Mexican Indians. They are a nobler race of people than their masters the descendants of the conquerors; more courageous and more generous; more faithful to their word and more ingenious and intellectual than the Spaniards. The men are generally six feet in stature, well formed and of an open, frank, and manly deportment. Their women are very fascinating, and far superior in virtue, as in beauty, to the greater number of the Spanish females. I was informed that all the tribes, the Utahs, the Navahoes, and others inhabiting the country west of the Mountains to the Gulf of California, like those in Mexico, lived in comfortable houses, raised wheat and corn, and had good mills for grinding their grain. I saw many specimens of their skills in the useful arts, and brought home with me some blankets and counterpanes, of Indian manufacture, of exquisite workmanship, which I have used in my family for twenty-five years. They are, generally far in advance of the Spaniards around them, in all the arts of civilized life as well as in the virtues that give value to national character.

In the latter part of February 1 received a deputation of fifty Indians from the Utah tribe on the west side of the mountains. They came riding into the city, and paraded on the public square, all well mounted on the most elegant horses I had ever seen. The animals were of a very superior breed, with their slender tapering legs and short, fine hair, like our best blooded racers. They were of almost every color, some spotted and striped as if painted for ornament. The Indians alighted at the Council House and sent a request for me to visit them. On arriving I found them all awaiting me in the Council House, with a company of Spanish officers and gentlemen led hither by curiosity. On entering I was greeted by the Chief and his companions, who shook hands with me. The Chief, whose name was Lechat, was a young man of about thirty and of a right Princely port and bearing. He told me in the Spanish language, which he spoke fluently, that he had come expressly to see me and have a talk with me. "You are Americans, we are told, and you have come from your country afar off to trade with the Spaniards. We want your trade. Come to our country with your goods. Come and trade with the Utahs. We have horses, mules and sheep, more than we want. We heard that you wanted beaver skins. The beavers in our country are eating up our corn. All our rivers are full of them. Their dams back up the water in the rivers all along their course from the mountains to the Big water. Come over among us and you shall have as many beaver skins as you want." Turning round and pointing to the Spaniards, in most contemptuous manner and with a scornful look he said, 'What can you get from these? They have nothing to trade with you. They have nothing but a few poor horses and mules, a little puncha, and a little tola (tobacco and corn meal porridge ) not fit for any body to use. They are poor--too poor for you to trade with. Come among the Utahs if you wish to trade with profit. Look at our horses here. Have the Spaniards any such horses? No, they are too poor. Such as these we have in our country by the thousand, and also cattle, sheep and mules. These Spaniards," said he, turning and pointing his finger at them in a style of contempt which John Randolph would have envied, "what are they? What have they? They wont even give us two loads of powder and lead for a beaver skin, and for a good reason they have not as much as they want themselves. They have nothing that you want. We have every thing that they have, and many things that they have not." Here a Spaniard cried out: "You have no money." Like a true stump orator the Utah replied, "and you have very little. You are depicca." In other words you are poor miserable devils and we are the true capitalists of the country. With this and much more of the same purport, he concluded his harangue, which was delivered in the most independent and lordly manner possible. He looked like a King upbraiding his subjects for being poor, when they might be rich, and his whole conduct seemed to me like bearding a wild beast in his den. The "talk" being had, Lechat produced the calama or pipe, and we smoked together in the manner of the Indians. I sent to my store and procured six plugs of tobacco and some handkerchiefs, which I presented to him and his company, telling them when they smoked the tobacco with their Chiefs to remember the Americans, and treat all who visited their country from mine as they would their own brothers. The council now broke up and the Chief, reiterating his invitations to me to visit his country, mounted his noble steed, and with his company rode out of the city, singing and displaying the handkerchiefs I had presented them, from the ends of their lances as standards. They departed without the least show of respect for the Spaniards, but rather with a strong demonstration on the part of Lechat of contempt for them. I noticed them at the council enquiring of this Chief with considerable interest what the Navahoes were doing, and whether they were preparing to attack the Spanish settlements. They had been at war with this tribe for several years, and seemed to fear that the Utahs might take part in it as allies of the Navahoes, for which reason they conducted themselves with the utmost respect and forbearance towards Lechat and his band. What was the immediate cause of this war, I did not learn, but I saw and heard enough of it to enlist my sympathies with the Navahoes. A few days after the visit of the Utahs, I saw a solitary Indian of that tribe, crossing the public square in the direction of the Governor's house, and driving before him a fat heifer. He went up to the Governor's door, to whom he sent word that he had a present for him, and was admitted. What followed I learned from Ortise, an old Alcalde, with whom I boarded during the time of my stay in Santa Fe. As he entered the room of the Governor, the Navaho prostrated himself on his face. The Governor stepped towards him and with a spurning motion of the foot, which touched the Indians head, asked him who he was and what he wanted. The poor Indian arose on his knees and said he was a Navaho, and had come to implore peace for his nation. "We are tired of war and we want peace," said he; "our crops are destroyed, our women and children are starving. Oh! give us peace!" The Governor asked the interpreter what he said, and being told, the christian replied--"Tell him I do not want peace, I want war." With this answer the Indian was dismissed, the Governor keeping his heifer. The poor fellow came to my store, announced his name and nation, and requested me to go among his tribe and trade. He said the rivers were full of beaver and beaver dams--that they had horses and mules which they would exchange for powder, lead and tobacco. The Indians are destitute of amunition and guns, and Spanish laws prohibit all trade with them in these articles. I gave him several plugs of tobacco, a knife and other small articles, and told him when he went back to his country to smoke my tobacco with his Chiefs and tell them if any Americans came to their country to treat them like brothers. He went off with a guard as far as the outposts on the route to his country. But I have no doubt he was murdered by the Spaniards long before reaching his home. About a week after this, sixteen Navaho Chiefs came into the town of St. James, sixty miles below Santa Fe on the Del Norte, and requested the commander of the Fort to allow them to pass on to the Governor at Santa Fe, saying that they had come to make peace. The commander invited them into the Fort, smoked with them and made a show of friendship. He had placed a Spaniard on each side of every Indian as they sat and smoked in a circle, and at a signal each Indian was seized by his two Spanish companions and held fast while others despatched them by stabbing each one to the heart. A Spaniard who figured in this butchery showed me his knife which he said had killed eight of them. Their dead bodies were thrown over the wall of the Fort and covered with a little earth in a gully. A few days afterwards five more of the same nation appeared on the bank of the river opposite the town, and enquired for their countrymen. The Spaniards told them they had gone on to Sante Fe, invited them to come over the river, and said they should be well treated. They crossed and were murdered in the same manner as the others. There again appeared three Indians on the opposite bank, enquiring for their Chiefs. They were decoyed across, taken into the town under the mask of friendship, and also murdered in cold blood. In a few days two more appeared, but could not be induced to cross; when some Spanish horsemen went down the river to intercept them. Perceiving this movement, they fled and no more embassies came in. The next news that came told of a descent made by the Navahoes in great force, on the settlements in the south, in which they killed all of every age and condition, burned and destroyed all they could not take away with them, and drove away the sheep, cattle and horses. They came from the south directly towards Santa Fe, sweeping everything before them, and leaving the land desolate behind them. They recrossed the Del Norte below Santa Fe, and passed to the north, laid bare the country around the town of Toas, and then disappeared with all their booty. While this was going on, Malgaris was getting out the militia, and putting nearly all the inhabitants under arms, preparatory to an expedition. I was requested to go, but I preferred to be a spectator in such a war. The militia of Santa Fe when on parade, beggared all description. Falstaff's company was well equipped and well furnished compared with these troops of Gov. Malgaris! Such a gang of tatterdemallions I never saw before or since. They were of all colors, with all kinds of dresses and every species of arms. Some were bare headed, others bare backed--some had hats without rims or crowns, and some wore coats without skirts; others again wore coats without sleeves. Most of them were armed with bows and arrows. A few had guns that looked as if they had been imported by Cortez, while others had iron hoops fastened to the ends of poles, which passed for lances. The doughty Governor Facunda Malgaris, on foot, in his cloak and chapeau de bras, was reviewing this noble army. He was five feet high, nearly as thick as he was long, and as he waddled from one end of the line to the other I thought of Alexander and Hannibal and Caesar, and how their glories would soon be eclipsed by this hero of Santa Fe. After him followed the Adjutant in his jacket with red cuffs and collar, and with his frog-sticker, called a sword, at his side. He examined the bows and arrows, lances and other arms of these invincibles. He with the little Governor seemed big with the fate of New Mexico. At last when all was ready the Governor sent them forth to the war and himself went to his dinner. In the mean time where was the enemy--the blood-thirsty Navahoes? They had returned in safety to their own country with all their plunder, and were even then far beyond the reach of Gov. Malgaris' troop of scare crows.

In the beginning of March finding that trade was dull and money very scarce in Santa Fe, I enquired for a better place of business and was advised by Ortise to go to Senora on the Gulf of California, where gold and silver was more abundant than in New Mexico. I requested him to go with me; he declined going himself but procured his brother, whom I hired, to go as guide for $12, for each mule load. I packed up my goods, and had got ready for the journey when Ortise came in with a gloomy countenance and asked if I had asked permission of the Governor to go to Senora. I said I had not, and he advised me to see him. I went to his house, apprehensive of hostility, and found the dignitary walking with a lordly air up and down his piazza. As I approached he strutted away from me to the opposite end of the gallery without deigning to notice me. I stood and awaited his return, and as he came up, I accosted him politely, and said I could not sell my goods in Santa Fe and had called to obtain his permission to go with them to Senora, where I had understood money was more plenty than in Santa Fe. "You can't go sir," growled his Excellency, and continued his promenade. I followed and asked him why I could not go. He said he had no orders to let me go. I asked him if he had any orders to prevent me. He said no. I then said, you know that I have a passport from my government, approved by the Spanish minister. "Oh we have nothing to do with the Spanish Government." But you have something to do with my Government. I shall start for Senora, and if you arrest or imprison me on my way, my Government shall hear from me. This appeared to agitate the little grandee and set him to thinking for a moment. He paced to and fro a while, stopped short, and asked how I was going. With Don Francisco Ortise, as guide. At this he burst into a loud laugh. "Ho, ho! Don Francisco will go with you, will he? Well Don Thomas, you can go, but I will send a party of soldiers with you to the outposts, and if any Spaniard attempt to go further with you I will have him brought back in irons and thrown into prison. You will have to pass through the country of the Apaches, and you will be robbed, perhaps murdered if you have no Spaniard with you. Now go, Don Thomas, now go--ha, ha, ha." I now 'turned and left him. Ortise, whom I considered my friend, advised me by no means, to make the attempt to reach Senora without a Spanish guide and I gave up the project. I regarded this, the result of a plot to detain me in Santa Fe till Spring, when they knew I was to return, and would have to sell my goods at any price. I went on the evening of my interview with the Governor, to the house of a sick Lieutenant, where I found the Adjutant and several other officers. They asked, with a sly glance at each other, when I was going to Senora. I am not going. "Why so, we heard you were all ready to start. You have a passport, have you not?" Yes, said I, but the Governor threatens to imprison any Spaniard that attempts to go with me. He has imprisoned all my countrymen that came here before me, and I suppose, if he dared, he would imprison me. Here the sick Lieutenant shook my knee by way of caution, and the Adjutant leaped up exclaiming, "If he dared! What do you mean sir, be careful how you talk;" and put his hand on the butcher knife at his side, called a sword. I had a dirk at my breast, as good a weapon as his, and facing him I repeated, yes, if he dared; but he dares not, nor dare any of you imprison me while I observe your laws. You have robbed and imprisoned all my countrymen heretofore, but my Government will now stop this baseness and cruelty to the Americans. If you violate my rights while I have an American passport my Government will avenge my wrongs on your heads. This appeared to cool the Adjutant, who said we were friends and that he would not tell the Governor. Tell him or not as you please said I.

I wish for the honor of my country, or rather of my Government, that the name of American citizen were a better protection in a foreign country than it is. Ancient Rome and modern England are examples to us in this respect. A subject of the English monarchy in a foreign country is sure that any flagrant violation of his natural rights will be avenged, if necessary, by the whole military and naval power of his country. An Englishman like an ancient Roman citizen, knows that his Government will look after him and is sure of protection. An American is sure of nothing. His Government may amid the turmoil of electioneering, demand him from his jailors, but it is much more likely to overlook him entirely as beneath its regard. The case of Robert McKnight, who returned in April with John, his brother, from Durango, after an imprisonment of ten years, was a remarkable instance of the delinquency of our Government in this particular. His goods had been confiscated and himself and his companions thrown into prison, where they remained ten years, and during the whole time their own Government was sleeping on their wrongs. No notice whatever was taken of them; and when McKnight returned to his country he was equally unsuccessful in seeking redress. "I will go back to Mexico, said he, swear allegiance to their Government and become a citizen. I have resided the prescribed term of years, and there is a better chance for obtaining justice from the Mexicans, scoundrels as they are, than from my own Government. I will go and recover as a citizen of Mexico what I lost as a citizen of the United States. My own Government refuses to do me justice, and I will renounce it forever. I would not raise a straw in its defence." He accordingly returned to Mexico, where he probably received remuneration for his losses, and where he now lives a citizen of the country.

While in Santa Fe I was a frequent visitor at the house of the parish Priest, a very gentlemanly, intelligent man, where I often found an interesting company assembled. I supped at his house on one occasion with sixteen Spanish gentlemen of education, and some of distinction. The conversation happened to turn on the power and condition of the United States, and particularly on the country west of the Mississippi. They said the country west of this river once belonged to them, and agreed that it would some day return to their possession. They said that Spain had ceded it to Bonaparte without their consent, and that, it of right, belonged to Mexico. They also expressed great dissatisfaction with the line of the Sabine, alleging that it ought to have been and would yet be the Mississippi instead of the former river. I told them that my countrymen were also dissatisfied with the Sabine as the boundary. "Ah exclaimed one, then we shall have little difficulty in changing it; both sides will be agreed." Not so fast, said I, we think the boundary ought to have been the Rio Del Norte. "What! said they, the Del Norte; that would take in Santa Fe." Yes, Seignors, said I, we claim to the Del Norte. "Never, never--you will never get it, and if it ever comes to a trial of power between Mexico and the States, we will have to the Mississippi. You will be compelled to give it to us." I told them to mark my words and said, if ever the boundary is changed you will see it go westward and not to the east.

The Spring was nearly gone and most of my goods remained unsold. Money was very scarce, and I had little prospect of selling them at any price. I offered them at cost, and at last found a purchaser of most of them in a Spaniard named Pino, who paid me one thousand dollars in cash and an equal sum in horses and mules. He borrowed the money of Francisco Chavis, the father of Antonio, who was murdered in the United States by Mason, Brown and McDaniel. The last two were convicted of the murder on the testimony of Mason, and executed in St. Louis in 1844. After this trade with Pino I had still on my hands a large quantity of brown and grey cloths, which were unsaleable in the Spanish market; blue and other colors being preferred. These cloths I sold to Hugh Glenn, who again honored me with a visit in the latter part of May, staid with me two weeks, borrowed forty dollars, in addition to the sixty I had already loaned him, and gave me his note for the money and goods, which (the note) I have held to this day. He wanted the goods to sell to his company who were trapping near Toas, and promised to pay me the money as soon as he reached St. Louis and disposed of his beaver fur. Taking him for a man of honor I treated him as such, to my own loss. I was now ready to depart for home, having disposed or got rid rather of my goods and collected all my debts except one from the Governor. During the winter his Excellency had sent his Excellency's Secretary to my store for some samples of cloth. The Secretary after taking these with some shawls for the examination of his master, returned and purchased goods for his Excellency to the sum of eighty-three dollars and told me to charge them to his Excellency. I did so, and on the day before my departure I called at his Excellency's house and found his Excellency looking every inch a Governor, and very pompously pacing the piazza as was the custom of his Excellency. I remarked that I was going home. "Very well," said his Excellency, "you can go;" and walked on. I awaited his Excellency's return, and again remarked that I was going home; that I did not expect to return, and would be thankful for the amount of his Excellency's account with me. "I have not a dollar. The Government has not paid me in ten years, and how can I pay my creditors." I offered to take two mules. "I have no more mules than I want myself," said his Excellency. With this I parted forever with Gov. Malgaris of New Mexico. Ortise told me I could not sue him as he was "the head of the law."

Some time before this I saw a Spaniard who had been imprisoned for more than a year, and was then set at liberty. He had just come from the Commandant, whom he asked for the cause of his imprisonment. "You are at liberty now, are you not?" "Yes; but I wish to know why I have been so long deprived of liberty." "You are at liberty now, and that is enough for you to know," said the Commandant: And this was all the satisfaction the poor Spaniard could get. The following will illustrate the summary method of administering justice in Santa Fe. There were many American deserters in the city from the Fort at Nacatoche, some of whom had lived here sixteen years, and were generally of bad character. Robert McKnight had entrusted one of these, named Finch, with a valuable sword to sell for him. Finch pawned the sword for twelve dollars, and seeing him with money I told McKnight he would never get any thing for his sword as Finch was spending the money he had raised on it. "There is no danger," said he, "Finch would not trifle with me." On the next day he demanded his sword or the money from Finch, who refused to give him any satisfaction; whereupon McKnight seized and dashed him about twelve feet, head foremost against a door of the Fort. I interfered and saved Finch from any further injury than a severe cut on his head. He then confessed the fact of his having pawned the sword and named the place where it could be found. McKnight now went before the Alcalde, a stern old Spaniard, who called his officer and handed him his gold headed cane as a warrant bringing up Finch, the sword and the pawnee. They all arrived, Finch with his head tied up in a handkerchief, when the Alcade took the sword from the Spaniard who had taken it in pledge, and asked him if he knew for what purpose Finch had received it. He admitted that Finch told him at the time of pawning it, that he had received it to sell. "Then," said the Alcalde, "if you had bought it, though only for five dollars, you could now keep it, but you had no right to take it in pawn;" and thereupon handed the sword to McKnight as the true owner. "But who will pay me my twelve dollars?" said the bailee. "That lies between you and Finch." "And what am I to get for my broken head," said Finch. "I know nothing about that Finch," said the magistrate, "but if you do not behave yourself better than you have done of late, I will drive you out of the province." So, McKnight got his sword and a little revenge without having a bill of costs or lawyer's fee to pay.

Most of my company had been engaged in trapping during my stay in Santa Fe, and some had gone far into the interior of Mexico. Collecting such as remained, and in company with the McKnights, I now, on the first of June 1822, bade adieu forever to the capital of New Mexico, and was perfectly content never to repeat my visit to it or any other part of the country.