Major Rucker fulfilled this duty perfectly, sending out pack-trains loaded with food by the many routes by which the immigrants were known to be approaching, went out himself with one of these trains, and remained in the mountains until the last immigrant had got in. No doubt this expedition saved many a life which has since been most useful to the country.

The days went by; the pack-trains jingled down out of the hills; the processions of heavy wagons lumbered up from the San Joaquin valley enwrapped in clouds of red dust; an endless stream of men flowed into the town on its bench-land above the cañon where the river brawled. Men from all the world, they came and went, and the milling crowds absorbed those who lingered, nor heeded who they were.

The friend who had bound his wound and given him drink would find him a better bed than these rough stones and a kinder shelter than this bit of shadow, swept by the dust of endless pack-trains. In such a place a friend could avail little. We carried him back from the turmoil of the road into the trampled wheat and there made him a rude tent of my blanket and a pillow of my saddle.

They are an honest, primitive people, decently but very coarsely clad in rough woolen garments manufactured by themselves, and shaped much in the European style. On their feet they wear moccasins made of sheepskin. Whenever we met these pack-trains in any convenient place, the drivers stopped to have a talk with Zoega, often riding back a mile or two to enjoy the novelty of his conversation.

Major Rucker fulfilled this duty perfectly, sending out pack-trains loaded with food by the many routes by which the immigrants were known to be approaching, went out himself with one of these trains, and remained in the mountains until the last immigrant had got in. No doubt this expedition saved many a life which has since been most useful to the country.

Then I looked about me for help. The pack-trains clattered along the road and through them wounded men were threading their way, painfully hobbling to the field-hospital, miles away. Of ambulances there were none.

As often as the road-makers glanced at the pack-trains, they saw hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of traffic going past or waiting transportation at Skagway, and each strained every nerve to complete the work while the sun shone. By midsummer they began to appreciate the fact that this was to be a hard job.

Lake seemed to oppose him, and evidently it took vehemence and argument on Withers's part to make the Mormon tractable. But Withers won him over, and then he called Shefford to his side. "You fellows got to be good friends," he said. "You'll have charge of my pack-trains. Nas Ta Bega wants to go with you.

The road southward from Sofia is abominable, being originally constructed of earth and large unbroken bowlders; it has not been repaired for years, and the pack-trains and ox-wagons forever crawling along have, during the wet weather of many seasons, tramped the dirt away, and left the surface a wretched waste of ruts, holes, and thickly protruding stones.

The regimental camps touched each other, and all day long the pack-trains carrying the day's rations passed up and down between them. The trail was a sunken wagon road, where it was possible, in a few places, for two wagons to pass at one time, but the greater distances were so narrow that there was but just room for a wagon, or a loaded mule-train, to make its way.