They were promising young fellows, born on the Aransas River, and after consulting with Deweese Uncle Lance took both into permanent service on the ranch. A room in an outbuilding was allotted them, and they were instructed to get their meals in the kitchen. The remudas had wandered far, but one was finally brought in by a vaquero, and by pairs we mounted and rode away.
But some where about forty miles south of San Antonio they met a trail herd of cattle from the Aransas River. Some trouble had occurred between the foreman and his men the day before, and that morning several of the latter had taken French leave. On meeting the travelers, the trail boss, being short-handed, had offered all three of them a berth. Quayle had accepted without a question.
They fish all the seasons around and have been there for years. Boatmen at Long Key and other Florida resorts at Tampico, Aransas Pass are not in the same class with the Avalon men. They want to please and to excel, and to number you among their patrons for the future. And the boats nowhere are there such splendid boats. Captain Danielson's boat had utterly spoiled me for fishing out of any other.
Both regiments did good service, especially under Ransom, in the expedition that, led by Washburn, landed on Mustang Island on the 16th of November, took the Confederate battery commanding Aransas Pass, and then, crossing to Matagorda Island, rapidly reduced Fort Esperanza, and thus gained the control of Matagorda Bay before the month was out.
Probably by letting him gorge the bait you will get him all right, but it would entail killing him to get the hook out. In winter the tarpons go south, and perhaps the best place to fish them is at Tempico in Mexico. But let me strongly recommend Aransas Pass in September.
What is finer sport, I think, and perhaps not quite so killing to the angler, is tarpon-fishing. Most of our ambitious tarpon fishers go to Florida, where each fish captured will probably cost you some fifty dollars. My tarpon ground was at Aransas Pass, on the Gulf Coast of Texas. There in September the fish seem to congregate preparatory to their migration south.
But I can hardly think that the fish of any other climate can compare for brilliancy of colouring and fantastic variety of shape with those captured on the Hawaiian coast and well displayed in the aquarium at Honolulu. I must not forget to mention that at Aransas Pass one may sometimes see very large whip or sting-rays.
In his duties as the commander of a blockading and guarding squadron, there was much of detail: attacks of guerillas along the river shores, to be parried and punished; surprises of the weaker vessels of the squadron to be chastised and revenged; expeditions against rebel towns on or near the coast, to be aided and sustained; and careful lookout to be kept for blockade-runners, who sought their opportunities to slip into the ports of Mobile, Galveston, and Aransas.
Held up the Aransas Pass last month. We caught 'em in the Twenty-Mile pear flat, south of the Nueces." "Have much trouble corralling them?" I asked, for here was the meat that my hunger for epics craved. "Some," said Buck; and then, during a little pause, his thoughts stampeded off the trail. "It's kind of queer about women," he went on, "and the place they're supposed to occupy in botany.