As De Quille says: "They soon found and spent some days in working up the undisturbed trail of an undiscovered deposit, They were on the 'golden bee-line' and stuck to it faithfully, though it was necessary to carry each sample of dirt a considerable distance to a small stream in the bed of a canon in order to wash it.
John Neal, a prominent and respected citizen of Tuolumne County, who as Commissioner represented his county at the San Francisco Midwinter Fair. Mr. Neal is over eighty, but still hale and hearty. He was the first person I had thus far encountered who had known Bret Harte in the flesh. He had also known and frequently met Mark Twain, "Dan de Quille" and Prentice Mulford.
For several years the cannon remained where its emigrant finders removed it, then at the breaking out of the Civil War, "Dan de Quille," William Wright, the author of The Big Bonanza, the fellow reporter of Mark Twain on one of the Virginia City newspapers, called the attention of certain belligerent adherents of the south to it, and they determined to secure it.
In the words of his fellow-journalist, Dan De Quille: Mark Twain was fond of manufacturing items of the horrible style, but on one occasion he overdid this business, and the disease worked its own cure. He wrote an account of a terrible murder, supposed to have occurred at "Dutch Nick's," a station on the Carson River, where Empire City now stands.
Swerer, who has lived continuously at Tuttletown since 1850, coming there at the age of ten, told me she received her education at the Tuttletown public school, as did her children and her children's children she is now a great-grandmother! She said most positively that she never saw Bret Harte in her life, but had frequently seen "Dan de Quille" and Mark Twain.
The whole "Enterprise" force was like one family; proprietors, editor, and printers were social equals. Samuel Clemens immediately became "Sam" to his associates, just as De Quille was "Dan," and Goodman "Joe." Clemens was supposed to report city items, and did, in fact, do such work, which he found easy, for his pilot-memory made notes unnecessary.
In fact, all through the seven counties I traversed Tuolumne, Calaveras, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada and Yuba I found Bret Harte had left but a hazy and nebulous impression. Mark Twain, Prentice Mulford, Horace Greeley, Bayard Taylor, even "Dan de Quille," seemed better known. The next morning I started for Sonora.
Among the contributors to this once famous weekly were Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Prentice Mulford, Joaquin Miller, Dan de Quille, Orpheus C. Kerr, C. H. Webb, "John Paul," Ada Clare, Ada Isaacs Menken, Ina Coolbrith, and hosts of others.
Once the office force, including De Quille, McCarthy, and a printer named Stephen Gillis, of whom Clemens was very fond, bought a large imitation meerschaum pipe, had a German-silver plate set on it, properly engraved, and presented it to Samuel Clemens as genuine, in testimony of their great esteem.
He was much interested in Tom Fitch's effort to establish a literary journal, 'The Weekly Occidental'. Daggett's opening chapters of a wonderful story, of which Fitch, Mrs Fitch, J. T. Goodman, Dan De Quille, and Clemens were to write successive instalments, gave that paper the coup de grace in its very first issue.