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May 13, 1861: En Route to Monterey

May 16, 2011

Camp 32

[Today], we left Guadalupe Ranch and came about fourteen or fifteen miles and camped in a valley that turns off from the Salinas on the road to Monterey. We had hardly camped, and were eating dinner, when the stage came along. I went to the driver to get him to carry a letter to the next post office. He had to stop there to water his horses. A familiar face appeared in the stage, not at first recognized, but a mutual recognition soon took place—it was a good friend I had known on shipboard, a friend of Averill’s, a lawyer from New York, a Mr. Tompkins, one of the finest gentlemen and most entertaining that I have met for a long while. We were much together on shipboard. He had traded eastern property for a ranch near Monterey, on the coast, and had just been to it and was returning to San Francisco. He was the first acquaintance met since Los Angeles, or I should say, since we left San Francisco. The meeting was mutually pleasant. He tendered us the hospitality of his ranch, although he could not be with us there, but gave us a letter to his majordomo (head ranchero) to give us all attention, feed, board, horses to ride, etc. We shall go there next week. He had so improved that we did not at first know him—he was in ill health last fall, but hearty enough now. We, tanned by the sun, bronzed by exposure, without coats or vests, in buckskin pants, bowie and Colt at our belts—he said at first sight we fulfilled his beau ideal of buccaneers stopping the stage.

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