Water stood in the corrals, but the open shed was on dry ground. Under it the half-clad, wild-looking ox-drivers and horse- herders slung their hammocks; and close by they lit a fire and roasted, or scorched, slabs and legs of mutton, spitted on sticks and propped above the smouldering flame.

I know that air; it's very old, and he's taking liberties with it masterfully; now it's like the cypress singing in the big coulée. Of course, it wasn't learned in one generation, but why does a waltz of that kind unsettle one so, with a suggestion of ancient sorrow sighing through its gladness? But I'm forgetting, and vaporing again. We are ox-drivers, you and I."

Hardly had the bodies making the sortie retired within the gate when the Janissaries on the eminence were trebly strengthened, and the noises in that quarter, the cracking of whips, the shouting of ox-drivers, the hammering betokened a prodigious activity. The besieged, under delusion that the guns had been destroyed, could not understand the enemy.

Some of our men went over to their camp, and some of their youths came down to ours, and when we started on they seemed quite proud that they had learned a little of the English language, but the extent of their knowledge seemed to be a little learned of the ox-drivers, for they would swing their hands at the cattle and cry out "Whoa! haw, g d d n."

The wagons were overflowing with small children; coops of fowls swung from behind, and a general air of thriftiness seemed to be characteristic of the company. "Which way are you bound?" asked Oscar, cheerily. "Up the Smoky Hill Fork," replied one of the ox-drivers. "Solomon's Fork, perhaps, but somewhere in that region, anyway."

There was sawdust in the mouth of the creek and, from coal-dust, the water was black. The ring of axes and the shouts of ox-drivers came from the mountain side. Up the creek above her father's cabin three or four houses were being built of fresh boards, and there in front of her was a new store. To a fence one side of it two horses were hitched and on one horse was a side-saddle.

Then the air was filled with the tense ring of hammer and saw, the mellow echoes of axes, and the shouts of ox-drivers from the forests, indignant groans from the mountains, and a little town sprang up before his eyes, and cars of shining coal wound slowly about the mountainside. Activity like this stirred his blood. Busy from dawn to dark, he had no time to grow miserable.

Back over the seat again he rushed to guard the rear, only to find a young buck riding close to the side of the wagon, his pony running in the deep path made by the ox-drivers in walking alongside of their teams.

The call of this bird is very much like that uttered by the Mexican ox-drivers when they herd together the animals under their care; hence its Spanish name of vaquero. We gave chase to them, and in less than half an hour we had obtained a male and female. Lucien was never tired of admiring these beautiful creatures, with their yellow beaks, hooked like those of birds of prey.

Ayres to represent and manage his interest, and hence I had the control and responsibility in my hands and practically decided all important questions relating to the business. The fourteen ox-drivers were all volunteers, who drove without pay except their board for the sake of getting to the gold regions to make their fortunes there.